For SDSU head basketball coach Scott Nagy, each game is bigger than the last. Coachspeak or not, that turned out to be the case Saturday night.
On a milestone night for the Jackrabbits, SDSU closed out an undefeated season at home with a 75-64 win over IUPUI in front of 3,933 fans at Frost Arena.
The Jacks finish the season at 14-0 in Brookings but it wasn’t looking great early as SDSU lacked defensive energy and fell behind 19-9. Jordan Dykstra played the first half on fire from behind the free throw line, extending his school record streak to 11 made three-pointers dating back to Feb. 18 against Buffalo. The crowd was instrumental to get SDSU over a 13-point hump in the first half and took the lead by halftime, 39-37. As for the slow start, the explanation for that was simple according to Dykstra.
“They came out ready to play and we didn’t. Simple as that. It was a total team effort to get back into the game,” he said.
The Jackrabbits asserted themselves in front by opening the second half with a 10-4 spurt and found a way to deny IUPUI star Alex Young from taking over. Young, who some see as future NBA talent, was in foul trouble in the first half and finished the game with 16 points. Attribute some of that to the Jacks’ toughest player and lone senior Griffan Callahan defending Young. Callahan’s stat line was quiet but the ovations in the pregame ceremony and when he left the game late were far from silent.
“I’m glad we were able to send Griffan out the way we did,” Nagy said. “Obviously, the game didn’t start the way we wanted to. We did the old switcheroo, we’re usually good in the first half and bad in the second half, and we did the opposite tonight.”
In the records department, Wolters broke the school’s junior scoring record with 635 points in 30 games, breaking the mark set by Chris White in 1990-91, 633 points in 32 games. The undefeated season at home is the third for the Jacks, evening the home marks in 1984-85 and 2002-03.
The Jacks’ seed heading into the conference tournament next weekend has been sealed for a few games but the Jacks will be peaking, winning the last six and eight of the last nine. That said, the Jacks draw the same Jaguars once again next Saturday in the first round in Sioux Falls.
“We didn’t want to coast to just coast into the postseason play. Now the real season starts,” Fiegen said.