Jacks topple Mavericks in Summit League showdown

Trenton Abrego, Sports Editor

There’s a new top dog in the Summit League.

South Dakota State proved to be worthy of the top spot in the conference after an 83-73 win over the Omaha Mavericks.

“We knew this was a big game, we knew that we were tied for the one seed and we knew that if we came in here and grabbed a win, we would be the one seed,” sophomore guard David Jenkins said in a post-game interview. “We didn’t prepare for this game any differently.”

If they didn’t prepare any differently, the casual viewer might have been fooled.

South Dakota State was led by Mike Daum, who got it done in different ways this time around. Daum did score 33 points but it took 29 field goal attempts.

“For Mike, that wasn’t a very good shooting performance at all,” South Dakota State head coach T.J. Otzelberger said in a post-game press conference.

Despite not having his usually touch from the field, Daum found his way inside the paint to score. He also contributed 16 rebounds for yet another double-double. It wasn’t just the glass that Daum dominated, the senior guard had five assists.

It wasn’t just Daum who propelled the Jackrabbits to victory.

David Jenkins contributed 19 points on five 3-pointers. During the game, Jenkins joined the 1,000-point club, making him the 48th player to do so in school history.

Skyler Flatten continued his senior year resurgence with a solid showing in which he scored 16 points on seven field goal attempts.

Part of the success for the Jackrabbits came on the other side of the floor.

Zach Jackson, a senior guard came into Saturday’s contest averaging 18.4 points per game, but the Jackrabbits shut Jackson down. Jackson ended the night with five points on eight field goal attempts. Two of Jackson’s five points came from the free-throw line.

While it won’t show up in the stat sheet, Tevin King played a crucial role in stopping Jackson from scoring. King finished the game with five points, seven rebounds, four assists and continued to show his grit at the defensive end

“Tevin King did a phenomenal job individually, he was extremely competitive, really limited his [Jackson] touches and then made sure on every opportunity took his rhythm away,” Otzelberger said. “I thought Tevin’s effort defensively really stood out to me.”

Despite not having offensive production coming from places they expected, the Mavericks found offense in other spots.

KJ Robinson, a junior guard contributed 23 points on four 3-pointers. Robinson shot 45 percent from the field. Robinson outscored his season average by 13 points.

Going into the half, Robinson hadn’t hit a 3-pointer, but halftime adjustments by the Jackrabbits forced the Mavericks to get him the ball in other areas of the floor.

“They did a good job of sagging, they were pushing up or whatever on KJ,” Omaha Mavericks head coach Derrin Nelson said in a post-game interview. “He never took a forced one he never took a contested one, they were good shots, a couple didn’t go for him, but he had those going tonight.”

Mitch Hahn and JT Gibson had 14 points each for the Mavericks.

Up next, the top-seeded Jackrabbits will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at 7 p.m., Jan. 31.