Jacks defend their court against the Fighting Hawks

Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

Despite shooting 12 percent from behind the arc, South Dakota State managed to run away from the Fighting Hawks with an 80-55 victory.

“I thought it was obviously a tough first half for us shooting the basketball in the first half 0-15 from the 3-point line,” head coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

Both Otzelberger and Mike Daum described the team as settling for contested 3-point shots and just passing the ball around.

“Our shot selection just wasn’t where it normally was in the first half.” Daum said. “We also weren’t really aggressive driving to the basket and then getting the kick out open threes like we normally do”

Despite the poor shooting behind the arc, the Jacks didn’t struggle with the shots inside the paint. Jacks shot 50 percent from inside the arc in the game.

Going into halftime the game was a close 33-32.

Coming out of halftime, the Jacks found their scoring grove.

Daum opened the half with his first and only 3-pointer of the night leaving him one for eight from behind the arc. That didn’t stop him from scoring, he ended the night with 29 points, 20 rebounds and two assists.

“Second half we were a lot more intentional,” Otzelberger said.

Skyler Flatten brought both defensive and offensive energy coming into the second half. He had back to back steals leading to an assist and fast break dunk.

“Flatten started the half with a couple great energy plays,” Otzelberger said. “Energy on defense generates turnovers and allowed us to play with a better pace.”

SDSU ran away with the game on a 20-to-2 run. Later, Jacks went on a 12-to-2 run.

Alex Arians made a statement with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.

“Part of the reason I am getting such good looks is because my team’s defense is key,” said Arians.

Next, the Jacks will head to Nebraska to take on the Omaha Mavericks Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.