Jackrabbits cinch milestone 20th win

Marcus Traxler


For the first time since moving to Division I, the Jackrabbits have reached 20 wins in men’s basketball. Not without a little stress, though.

Unlike two nights prior at USD, SDSU was able to rally back from a rough start and defeat Missouri-Kansas City 75-62 at the Swinney Recreation Center Feb. 11.

“Even though we had a slow start, I think the guys did a good job getting back into the game,” SDSU head coach Scott Nagy said. The win clinches his ninth 20-win season of his career.

UMKC opened the game on a 12-4 run in the first four minutes, and the game elicited similar feelings of the Jackrabbits’ upset loss against the Coyotes. SDSU would close the gap with 8:44 left on a Jordan Dykstra three-pointer, tying the affair at 23. The Jackrabbits would end the second half on a big 15-3 run to push SDSU ahead by 12 at halftime, 41-29, accentuated by nine points from Brayden Carlson. Carlson hit a three-point play and followed that up with four-point play on the next possession.

For good measure, SDSU opened the second half on a 9-2 run and led by 19 points. The Kangaroos never pulled closer than 11 in the second half but SDSU was never threatened. The Jackrabbits were able to coast to their 20th victory of the season and will end the regular season at 10-7 on the road, 6-3 in the Summit League.

“It is nice to get to it,” Nagy said. “I’m proud of the players. I think going 6-3 on the road in the conference is quite the feat and that’s not easy to do.”

Nate Wolters breezed to a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Dykstra, Carlson and Griffan Callahan scored 16, 15 and 12 points, respectively.

“I think we just have to grind it out,” Dykstra said. “All of these road games are tough on a team and we just have to come together as a team and fight through it.”

The Jackrabbits will host NDSU Feb. 15 and can clinch the number-two seed with a win over the rival Bison at Frost Arena. Three days later, SDSU will host Buffalo in the BracketBusters event that pits some of the top mid-majors in college basketball this season. (See B1 for more.) 

“The season has peaks and valleys and it just feels with our team right now, we’re in a valley and we just don’t have real good flow right now,” Nagy said. “The kids are trying to fight through it.”