On this Monday, I serve to you leftovers from the weekend in South Dakota State basketball:
NDSU has lost two in a row, albeit both on the road and against fellow conference contenders. The Bison led at the half in both games, dropping to 16-2 this season when up at intermission.
Meanwhile, SDSU picked up a fifth win when trailing at the break. Four of those comeback wins have come at home. Saturday was a prime example of that, the Jacks allowing just 16 second-half points – season low by NDSU for a half (and by seven points).
It’s a funny change from last year when Jacks coach Scott Nagy repeatedly mentioned how his team was better in the first half than in the second because it was playing in front of its bench. Why the reversal? Maybe because SDSU has changed its practice routine, running through defensive drills on its second-half side. At least, that’s the only theory coach Scott Nagy can come up with.
“A part of it was just a sense of pride,” he added. “We were getting our tails handed to us and our guys responded.”
NDSU coach Saul Phillips used his opening statement during the postgame press conference to thank SDSU assistant Rob Klinkefus for allowing Bison assistant Dave Richman to borrow his car Friday night. One of Richman’s children fell ill and needed to go to the emergency room. Things have since improved.
“That’s class,” Phillips said. “It’s a classy program, and they got us tonight.”
Records watch: Jacks senior Nate Wolters moved up a couple spots into 10th in Summit League history for career scoring at 2,048. He’s also 16 shy of the school record for career assists. And junior teammate Jordan Dykstra moved within six points of the 1,000 mark for his career.
The Jacks did not have any bench points for the first time this season. Three subs combined to play 13 minutes.
The win was the third this season for SDSU over a team ranked in the latest mid-major top 25 (the others being Western Illinois and Montana, both on the road). That’s in addition to a win over New Mexico from the regular top 25.
Among those in the sell-out crowd of 6,063: Sen. John Thune and Manny Ohonme, founder of Samaritan’s Feet. Nagy coached barefoot in an attempt to raise awareness for the organization, while the rest of the participating coaches did the Suits and Sneakers thing.
The SDSU women closed the first half of the Summit season with a road win over newcomers Omaha. The Jacks hit the break at 7-1 in league play, one game up on South Dakota and two games up on IUPUI – everybody else is at least three back with eight to play. Five of the nine teams have at least five conference losses.
The Jacks have won three of five regular-season title since joining the Summit.
The Jacks scored 32 bench points in beating the Mavericks, while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. They led by 15 at the break, marking their sixth double-digit lead at halftime in eight league affairs.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.