Men’s basketball splits two games on IUPUI, IPFW roadtrip

By Andrew Holtan Sports Reporter

Jacks second in Summit League Standings

The SDSU men’s basketball team went on the road to Indiana this week when they faced Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. They split the two games after losing to IPFW on Thursday 84-74 and bouncing back on Saturday defeating IUPUI 63-56. 

They are now 18-8 overall and 9-3 in the Summit League.

The first half against IPFW was even as both teams made 12 field goals and two three pointers. But the Mastodons made four more free throws and took a 32-28 lead into the locker room. IPFW took the win over the Jacks by a mere 10 points, ending the Jacks’ eight game winning streak.

“We just weren’t very sharp defensively and they’re playing very well,” said Head Coach Scott Nagy. “Defense, particularly on the road, has to be the most important thing.”

IPFW got the free throw line 27 times making 23 of them while the Jacks only got to the line 11 times making seven of them. “They were the aggressor, they were more aggressive with the dribble and throwing the ball inside,” Nagy said.

Junior guard Deondre Parks led the Jacks with 24 points. This was Parks’ fourth time going over 20 points. “He’s obviously scored very consistently for us but where he’s been one of the best for us on the defensive end,” Nagy said.

SDSU looked to bounce back when they took on the IUPUI Jaguars in Indianapolis on Saturday.  The Jacks were down 19-12 with eight minutes left in the first half when they went on 17-4 run to end the half, which gave them a 29-23 lead. In the second half the teams were neck and neck. The Jacks had a 59-56 lead with 19 seconds left in the game. The Jaguars tried to tie the game with a three but missed and senior Jake Bittle grabbed a long rebound and kicked it out to freshman Reed Tellinghuisen who got a layup and allowed the Jackrabbits to come out victorious.

“Our kids played tougher in this basketball game [against IUPUI], it was a very physical game,” Nagy said. “We took care of the ball and shot more free throws which is what won us the game.”

Senior Cody Larson led the team with 16 points and had three assists. “Sometimes he’s not as aggressive as I’d like him to be but he was very aggressive in that game,” Nagy said. 

The Jackrabbits had two other players in the double figures. Junior George Marshall had 15 points and a career high eight rebounds. Bittle had 13 points and a team high of four assists.

The Jackrabbits are back at Frost Arena this Saturday as they face NDSU, who is leading the Summit League with a record of 9-2. The Jacks are right behind them with their 9-3 record.

It’s a battle for first place but according to Nagy “they all are important games and we don’t try to pump up one certain game.”