Jacks overwhelm Denver


By Andrew Holtan Sports Reporter

The SDSU men’s basketball team faced off against Denver University on         Saturday, Jan. 31. The Jacks cruised to a 69-39 victory with an impressive                defensive performance to give them their eighth straight victory, which ties their longest winning streak in league play since 2007. 

They improved their overall record to 17-7 and 8-2 in the Summit League. Denver dropped to 9-13 overall and 3-6 in the Summit League. 

Denver made their first four field goals, including 3 out of 3 on three pointers. The Jacks took their first lead of the game with just under ten minutes left in the first half and never looked back as they led the rest of the game. 

Only one team had shot the ball over 50 percent against SDSU this season, that being Denver, who in their first meeting with the Jackrabbits shot 55 percent from the field in a 76-69          victory. Saturday was totally different as the Jacks held the Pioneers to just 33.3 percent from the field and 21.1 percent in the second half. Denver only had 12 field goals the whole game, including only four in the second half. The Jacks also forced the Pioneers to commit 16 turnovers including a couple of shot clock violations, which turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.

This was the lowest point total an SDSU opponent has had since allowing Dakota State to score only 32 points in 1997.

“Our kids are playing well and         completely bought in to believing that defense is the answer,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “I think we did a better job of just thinking less and going back to our defensive principles, unlike the first time we played them.”

The Jacks outscored the Pioneers 40-16 in the paint. “We just have such a point of emphasis of doing that,” Nagy said. 

Junior point guard George Marshall led all scorers with 20 points. Marshall said after the game, “for a complete game, I think it was the best game (I’ve played this season).”

Marshall, who had to wait until after the first semester to play, seems to be    fitting in just right as the Jacks have won 11 of the 15 games he has played in.

The Jacks are in first place in the      Summit League and other teams are taking notice. “They’re definitely the best team in the league right now,” Joe Scott, head coach of the Pioneers, said.

The Jacks have outscored teams by double-digits seven times during this eight-game winning streak.

“The thing that makes us really good is that we’re unselfish,” senior center Cody Larson said, who had 12 points and five rebounds.

Scott Nagy said, “all you have to do is lose focus for one second, so I’m trying to tell the team that.”

The Jacks are on the road for the next two games as they face IUPUI and Fort Wayne. They return to Frost Arena on Saturday, Feb. 14 when they face off against NDSU who is second in the Summit League as of right now.