As a blizzard raged outside Frost Arena, Nate Wolters returned to the South Dakota State lineup after missing two games due to injury to score 18 points, with seven rebounds and six assists in a 69-63 win over CSU Bakersfield, the Jackrabbits 23rd consecutive win at home.
The Jacks shot 52 percent in the first half on 14-of-27 shooting, but allowed the Roadrunners to shoot 58 percent on 18-of 31 shooting. Both teams picked up the defense in the second half, and even though head coach Scott Nagy likes the win, he would like to see a more complete game for the Jackrabbits.
"We're 8-3, we're not playing great, but we're winning games, but you feel like somewhere it's just going to catch up with you," Nagy said. "Now we go on the road and we're going to find out how good and how tough we are."
CSU Bakersfield falls to 3-6 with the loss.
The back-and-forth game saw a total of eight ties and 15 lead changes, with three ties and eight of those lead changes in the first half before the Roadrunners took a 39-38 lead into the locker room at halftime, after a Tony Fiegen layup beat the first half buzzer.
The close play continued into the second half until a pair of Jordan Dykstra free throws with 9 minutes, 7 seconds remaining tied the game and a Dykstra layup with 8:31 left gave the Jacks a lead they would not relinquish.
CSUB would tie the game one more time at 63-all with 2:39 left to play, but a pair of Brayden Carlson free throws with 1:24 on the clock gave the Jacks the lead for good, and SDSU did not allow the visitors to score again.
Along with Wolters and his 18 points, the Jacks got 16 points and eight rebounds from Fiegen, 12 points from Carlson and 11 from Dykstra.
Britton Williams led the Roadrunners with 18 points, Stephon Carter added 17, while Brandon Barnes and Javante Maynor both finished with 10 points in the loss.
The Jackrabbits now hit the road for their next six games, starting with Montana on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT, and do not return to Frost Arena until Jan. 10, 2013, when they host Oakland in Summit League action.
NOTES: South Dakota State improves to 2-1 all-time against CSU Bakersfield, with both wins coming at Frost Arena ... thanks in large part to a blizzard, the two teams play in front of an announced crowd of 886 fans, the smallest crowd to watch an SDSU men's basketball game since 826 fans turned out to watch the Jackrabbits defeat Mt. Scenario 102-56 on Dec. 16, 2000 ... Wolters returned to the lineup for the first time after missing two games with an injury, and reached double-digit points for the 91st time in his career, the 48th straight time in games in which he played ... Wolters became just the fourth player in SDSU history to surpass the 1,800-point mark in his career, finishing the game with 1,812 in his career; four shy of passing Austin Hansen for third on the all-time scoring list and 11 points shy of passing Lee Colburn for second on the all-time list at SDSU