FORT WAYNE, Ind. - South Dakota State sophomore Nate Wolters scored at least 30 points for the third time this season on Thursday at IPFW, but for the first time in those three games, he did it in a win. A convincing 80-64 win at Memorial Coliseum.
"This is one of the biggest wins for our program. We took all the steps to improve our program except winning on the road against the upper-half of our league," head coach Scott Nagy said. "We got that done tonight. Our kids played tough against a tough team."
The Jackrabbits first-ever win in Fort Wayne boosts their record to 18-9 overall and 10-6 in The Summit League. The Mastodons fall to 16-10 overall, 9-6 in league play.
Along with his game-high 30 points, 22 of which came in the second half, Wolters also led all-players with nine rebounds and with seven assists. Griffan Callahan added 19 points, Clint Sargent 12 and Jordan Dykstra 10 points in the win.
Frank Gaines led a pair of Mastodons in double figures with 17 points, Zach Plackemeier scored 14 in a losing cause.
The Jacks and 'Dons played close early, with three ties in the first half before Dykstra put the Jacks up for good at 20-17 with of his two three-pointers at the 8:31 mark in the first half.
SDSU would extend its lead to 37-29 at halftime, and then put the game away with an 8-0 run early in the second half that put the Jacks up 14 points at 56-42 with just under 13 minutes to play.
The Jackrabbits would increase that lead to as many as 21 points on three occasions, but never led IPFW get any closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Now winners of four in a row, the Jacks look to make it five straight on Saturday, when they travel to Rochester, Mich., to take on league-leader Oakland, who downed North Dakota State on Thursday by the score of 71-69 to secure the Golden Grizzlies second straight Summit League regular season title.
NOTES: IPFW still leads the all-time series with SDSU 7-5 ... The Jacks swept the season series with the Mastodons for the first time ... Nate Wolters surpass the 30 point mark for the third time this season and in his career, but for the first time in a win. Wolters scored a career-high 36 in a loss to NDSU on Dec. 4, and 32 on Jan. 8, in a loss to Oral Roberts ... Wolters 30-point night gives him 508 points for the season, 28 shy of breaking the SDSU sophomore scoring record of 534, set by Mark Tetzlaff in 1983) ... Clint Sargent passed former teammate Garrett Callahan (1,447 points from 2006-10) on the SDSU career scoring charts, making him the most prolific scorer in SDSU's Division I history with 1,459 career points ... Sargent made one three-pointer in Thursday's game to give him 77 on the season, three shy of passing Callahan and eight shy of tying Austin Hansen (2003) and Andy Moeller (2004) for the SDSU single-season record of 85. Sargent also made his 246th career three-pointer, which extends his record