SDSU Men Overcome Sluggish Start And UMKC

Jacks Win Third Straight After 77-68 Victory

South Dakota State men’s basketball shook off a slow start to win its 32nd consecutive home game, taking down the UMKC Kangaroos, 77-68, on Saturday morning inside Frost Arena.

SDSU (4-6) won its third consecutive game while snapping a three-game UMKC (6-3) winning streak. The Jacks shot 56.3 from the field for the game, adding eight 3-pointers and a 15 of 24 effort from the free throw line. UMKC was held under 40 percent (37.9), going 22 of 58 from the field with 13 3-pointers.

Andre Wallace led the way with 23 points for the Jackrabbits while Mike Daum added 21 points. Wallace hit four from 3-point land and grabbed three rebounds with two assists over 28 minutes. Daum just missed a double-double, pulling down nine boards while going a perfect 9 of 9 from the charity stripe.

Skyler Flatten found double figures as well in the points column, shooting 4 of 6 from the field to finish with 11 points in 23 minutes played.

Sergio El Darwich and Reed Tellinghuisen dished out four assists each as Tellinghuisen added eight points and rebounds and drew five charges on the defensive end.

UMKC took a 6-0 lead in the opening minute of play with a pair of 3-pointers before an SDSU timeout, and though the Jacks got on the board after a timeout, the Kangaroos continued to light up the nets from the beyond the arc, extending the lead to 14-2 at the under-16 media with four 3-pointers in the opening moments.

SDSU’s offense matched the UMKC effort over the next five minutes until 10:54, when down 20-7 the Jacks ran off eight unanswered as part of a 12-3 run that brought SDSU within four, 23-19, with 8:10 to go in the half. Andre Wallace carried the Jacks with nine points in that stretch off the bench.

The ‘Roos moved that lead back to nine, 28-19, moments later before eight unanswered, including a dunk and 3-pointer from Skyler Flatten, put SDSU down just one, 28-27, inside five minutes to go in the half. UMKC called timeout and ended the run with a 3-pointer on the next possession, but a charging Jackrabbit offense hung around and took its first lead of the day, 32-31, with just over two minutes on the clock after Wallace’s second 3-pointer of the half. That score held over the final two minutes as the SDSU defense kept UMKC from scoring over the final four minutes of the opening period in the midst of a 13-3 run heading into the locker room.

After Wallace’s layup inside 11 minutes to go started the Jackrabbit rally, SDSU closed the half on a 25-11 run and carried advantages of 16-4 for points in the paint and 16-11 for points off of turnovers into the locker room.

The team started just three of 9 from the field but ended the period shooting 54.2 percent (13 of 24) with four 3-pointers. UMKC opened the game seven of 14 from the field with four 3-pointers before finishing the half at just 37.9 percent (11 of 29) from the field with seven 3-pointers.

SDSU stretched its lead to nine (43-34) in the opening three minutes of the game on an 11-3 run that finished with a trey from A.J. Hess before UMKC hit a pair of free throws at 16:51, ending a stretch of nearly three scoreless minutes for the ‘Roos.

UMKC looked to answer by cutting the lead to six (45-39) with 16 minutes to play, but a baseline dunk from Daum opened another run for the Jacks that moved the lead to double figures for the first time of the day, 52-41, at 14:20.

Soon after, a pesky Kangaroo offense brought the game back within five before Wallace’s fourth trey of the day opened up a 15-5 burst that ended with seven unanswered as UMKC was held without a point from 10:50 to 7:57.

Up 69-54 before LaVell Boyd’s free throws stopped the cold streak, and that 15-point lead was SDSU’s largest of the night as UMKC closed the gap to single digits near the 6-minute mark despite not hitting a field goal for over six minutes as the game moved inside four minutes to play.

Down the stretch, UMKC hung around within single digits to kept the Jacks uncomfortable, but the SDSU zone continued to frustrate and held off any serious charge from the Kangaroos.

Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger
On shaking off slow start …
“They were definitely getting great looks. We used those two timeouts early because we felt like we needed to generate energy. Our guys need to come out with a great sense of urgency and passion, and I think after that early stretch we exhibited that, but we’re not far enough along where we can have those lapses. We were fortunate that those guys who came off the bench, Andre Wallace, Skyler Flatten and Ian Theisen, brought unbelievable energy to bring us up a notch.”

On defensive play fueling offense …
“Our defensive energy was phenomenal. We did a better job locating the shooters as the game went along. With Ross and Boyd we knew those guys could shoot going in and we did a better job identifying them. We took a lot of charges, shoot we may have taken six charges today, and made some great energy plays and turned them over 20 times. THe zones been good to us that way and it does lead to good offense. We had some easy baskets in transition and some good hustle plays as a result.”

On team’s ability to clean up turnovers …
Absolutely. Their press probably generated four or five of those, and then in the half court we’ve just got to do a better job of valuing the basketball … our shooting percentages have been great these last three games, and our field goal percentage defense has been great, and that’s giving them the points off our turnovers, which was 25 tonight.”

On fan support …
“It was huge. For our fans to come out to this 11 a.m., game, on the weekend, means a lot for our guys. Out of that eight-minute media timeout in the second half I felt the energy the crowd had for our guys on the floor. Everything they brought contributed to this win.”

Game Notes
Andre Wallace went over 20 points for the first time in his SDSU career, putting together the Jacks’ seventh 20-point game from an individual this season.
SDSU had two players (Andre Wallace and Mike Daum) score over 20 points in a game for the second time this season.
SDSU shot over 50 percent from the field and held its opponent under 40 percent for the third consecutive game.
SDSU has now won three straight and extends the nation’s second longest active home winning streak to 32 games. The Jacks were third entering today before Kentucky, which previously was No .2 on the list, lost at home to UCLA.

What’s Next
South Dakota State heads to Northern Iowa on Wednesday, Dec. 7 before returning to Frost Arena on Saturday, Dec. 10 to take on Idaho.