SDSU made arguably its biggest Summit statement in school history.
The Jackrabbits dominated from start to finish to pick up an important conference win over Oral Roberts, 75-60, in front of 4,255 fans at Frost Arena Thursday night. SDSU (18-6, 10-2 Summit) now sits a game-and-a-half behind the Golden Eagles (20-5, 12-1 Summit) in the league standings.
In a game that would carry a physical tone, ORU head coach Scott Sutton said that his team was too soft under the hoop and that the Jackrabbits won the game with the ability to play tough underneath.
“You’ve got to play with toughness and we played so soft. Our guys just didn’t respond. They punched us in the nose,” Sutton said.
As SDSU has done to so many teams this season, the Jackrabbits opened the game on a 15-2 run. ORU rallied back into the game at 19-15 and the game returned to the control of the Jacks scoring 16 of the next 24 points to put SDSU up 11 points at the halftime break, 34-23.
“It think we just played a lot better defense tonight, honestly and just playing with more heart and intensity than we did down there,” Dykstra said.
The better defense mantra showed up on the stat sheet, as SDSU doubled up the Golden Eagles in turnovers forced, 15-7. The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for Oral Roberts.
“The reason we won the game wasn’t because we played well offensively, it was because we competed with them defensively,” SDSU head coach Scott Nagy said.
SDSU got the home win behind another great performance from Nate Wolters, who scored 24 points and added nine of the Jacks’ 16 dizzying assists. Dykstra had 22 points and seven rebounds in SDSU’s 18th win.
Roderick Pearson and Warren Niles each had 14 points in the game for ORU, who made its final trip to Brookings, before moving to the Southland Conference in 2012-13.
“This at least gave us a shot to be conference champs. But now we have to be perfect, you just can’t stub your toe anymore. Saturday is the most important game,” Nagy said, mentioning the importance of the Jacks’ game against Southern Utah this weekend.