Dominant second half leads Jacks past Bison
In a tale of two halves, South Dakota State bounced back from a 37-31 halftime deficit to beat North Dakota State 69-53 in front of a sold out crowd of 6,063 at Frost Arena on Saturday.
Trailing by seven at 40-33 with 18 minutes and 47 seconds left in the game after a Mike Felt 3-pointer, the Jackrabbits rattled off the next 17 points to take a 50-40 lead with 10:54 to play in the game. During that same stretch, the Bison went 0-for-11 from the floor with three turnovers.
"At halftime I said to the coaches and I told the players, I don't know if I've ever been more ecstatic about being down six points, because if felt like we were down by 20. NDSU really took it to us," head coach Scott Nagy said. "Obviously the second half was the flip of that. We were the aggressor; we were 50 times better defensively."
The Jackrabbits improve to 16-6 on the season and to 7-2 in The Summit League, while the Bison fall to 16-5 overall and to 7-2 in the league, after the teams split the season series for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
Nate Wolters led all players in the game with 26 points, adding a game-high seven rebounds and game-high four assists. Tony Fiegen and Jordan Dykstra both finished with 14 points, with Fiegen tying for game-high honors with seven rebounds. Dykstra finished with six rebounds.
TrayVonn Wright led a pair of Bison players in double figures with 16 points. Mike Felt added 12 points, nine of which came in the first half.
After struggling to shoot 39.3 percent in the first half, 11-of-28, the Jackrabbits came out hot in the second half to shoot 57.1 percent over the final 20 minutes, 12-for-21.
Conversely, the Bison went 15-for-26 in the first half, 57.7 percent, but just 6-for-25 in the second half, 25 percent, scoring just 16 points in the half.
Winners of 26 in a row at home, the Jackrabbits look to make it 27 on Thursday, when they host South Dakota in the South Dakota Corn Showdown series inside Frost Arena at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES: NDSU leads the all-time series with SDSU 109-97 ... the sellout crowd of 6,063 marks the largest home crowd for the Jackrabbits this season, and the first sellout since 6,216 fans turned out on Jan. 12, 2012 to see the Jacks defeat South Dakota 86-56 ... Wolters scored in double figures for the 58th consecutive game and for the 101st time in his career, and eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 12th time this season and for the 53rd time in his career ... Wolters also increased his SDSU scoring record to 2,048 points, and his four assists gives him 590 for his career, 16 shy of breaking the SDSU career record of 605, set by Brian Norberg from 1995-99 ... Dykstra's 14 points gives him 994 for his career, six shy of becoming the 43rd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club ... NDSU came into the game with a 16-1 record when leading at halftime ... SDSU came in with a 4-4 mark when trailing at the half ... SDSU improves to 4-0 on the season when keeping opponents under 60 points ... Nagy coached the game in his bare feet to raise money and awareness for Samaritan's Feet