South Dakota State stayed with Minnesota for the first 18 minutes of the game, but the Golden Gophers used a late first half spurt and an early second half run to secure a 75-59 win over the Jackrabbits at Williams Arena.
“We lost the game in the first half, when there were some tough plays to make that we didn’t make,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “In order for us to win this game, we had to do the tough stuff, and we haven’t done that all year, and you have to shoot the ball better. We had lots of good looks again, and we’re just not shooting the basketball like we’re capable of shooting it.”
The Jackrabbits, who fall to 4-7 on the season, led 4-2 early, but Minnesota, which improves to 9-2, came back with a 10-0 run to take a 12-4 lead, which turned into a 15-6 lead, just over five minutes into the contest.
SDSU battled back to tie the game at 21-all on a Brayden Carlson 3-pointer with 7 minutes and 36 seconds left in the first half and then again a few minutes later at 23-all, but the Gophers outscored the Jacks 13-5 through the rest of the half to take a 36-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Gophers got hot early in the second half, scoring points on six of their first seven trips down the floor to open up a 16 point lead at 59-33 with 16:30 left to play in the game, and the Jacks wouldn’t get any closer than 12 points for the rest of the game.
Jordan Dykstra led the Jackrabbits with 16 points, including a 2 for 3 effort from 3-point range, adding 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Chad White finished with 15 as the only other Jackrabbit in double figures.
Austin Hollins led three Minnesota players in double figures with a game-high 20 points, reaching the 1,000 career points milestone in the process. He also finished with a game-high 14 rebounds to complete the double-double. DeAndre Matheiu added 15 points and Elliott Eliason 10 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double of his own, as the Gophers won the rebounding battle 40-30, inclueing a 15-8 edge on the offensive glass.
The Jackrabbits return home on Saturday to host Belmont in a matinee at Frost Arena at 4 p.m.