Jacks win sixth in a row, down Western 62-50
MACOMB, Ill. – South Dakota State pushed its win streak to a season-long six games on Saturday with a 62-50 win at Western Illinois behind a solid defensive effort and a double-double from Jordan Dykstra.
“This has been the formula for us, I think when you look back at the past six games; we just crushed our opponents on the glass and the past four games we’ve held our opponents shooting percentage in the 30s. Our kids are getting it,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “When you shoot 37 percent and you win by 12, you guarded and you rebounded, that’s what’s winning games for us, and that’s how you have to do it on the road.”
The Jackrabbits, who improve to 16-10 overall and to 8-3 in The Summit League, did all of that on Saturday, holding the Fighting Leathernecks, who fall to 9-16 overall and to 3-7 in league play, to 32 percent shooting, 15 of 47, and winning the rebounding battle 44-27, which all made up for a tough shooting night that saw the Jacks shoot just 37 percent overall, 17 of 46, 2-10 from 3-point range and 16 for 36 from the free throw line, 72 percent.
The home team didn’t fare much better from deep or from the charity stripe, finishing 4 of 17 from long range, 23.5 percent, and 16 for 26 from the foul line, 61.5 percent.
Down three early, SDSU put together a 12-4 run for its largest lead of the first half at 16-11 with 9 minutes, 4 second s left to play in the first half, but the Leathernecks fought back and regained the lead late before taking a 24-23 lead into halftime.
Cody Larson scored on the first possession of the second half to put the Jacks backup by one, the first of two ties and three lead changes in the first five minutes of the second half, before Jake Bittle put the Jacks up for good at 30-28 with 15:21 left to play, part of a 13-3 run that ended with SDSU leading 38-30 with 12:13 on the clock.
The SDSU lead hovered around the 10 point mark with the remainder of the game, with the Leathernecks getting no closer than six points for the duration of the contest.
Dykstra led all players in the game with 20 points and with 13 rebounds, with Bittle adding 18 points, eight rebounds and a team-high three assists, and Larson 11 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Garret Covington and Mike Miklusak both led Western Illinois with 12 points, with Jabari Sandifer adding 11 points and a game-high four assists in the loss.
Now in sole possession of second place in the league standings, SDSU travels to North Dakota State on Saturday with a chance to tie the Bison atop the league standings. The game tips from Bison Sports Arena at 2 p.m.
NOTES: South Dakota State leads the all-time series 14-3, with wins in the last 11 meetings … the teams played in front of 2,213 fans at Western Hall in Macomb, Ill. … SDSU improves to 5-1 on the season on the road in The Summit League, to 16-3 when winning the rebounding battle, to 11-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 70 points and to 4-9 in games when they trailed at halftime, with all four wins coming on the road [at Kansas City (12/28), at Denver (1/30), at South Dakota (2/1), at Western Illinois (2/15)] … SDSU held its opponent to fewer than 40 percent shooting for the fourth straight game and finished at least plus-10 in rebounds for the sixth straight game … Dykstra scored at least 20 points in a game for the ninth time this season and for the 23rd time in his career, and posted his seventh double-double of the season and 18th of his career. He also tied a season-high with 13 rebounds … Brayden Carlson moved from 37th to 36th on the all-time scoring list at SDSU with 1,046 career points