South Dakota State had the longest D-1 home win streak in the country snapped Thursday.
Montana shot 77 percent from beyond the 3-point arc in the second half of Thursday’s non-conference game to overcome a 25-24 halftime deficit and spoil South Dakota State’s home opener with a 77-69 win over the Jackrabbits, thus snapping the Jacks 30 game home winning streak and sending them to an 0-3 start.
“It was a tale of two halves for us. We were inept offensively in the first half and inept defensively in the second half,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “You’ve got to give them some credit, they go 10-for-13 from three in the second half, but the way the game’s being called, you have to guard one of two things; you either have to pack it in and guard the drive or you’ve got to try and take away the three and we took away the drive.”
Which made sense, as the Griz struggled from long range in the first half, going just 1-for-10 from deep and scored 18 of their 24 first half points in the paint.
The Jacks, on the other hand, went 9-for-31 in the first half overall, 29 percent, and 1-for-7 from long range, 14 percent, only to bounce back in the second half to shoot 59 percent on 16-of-27 shooting, and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc, 5-for-13.
Montana, which evens its record at 1-1, heated up in the second half as well though, shooting at a 68 percent clip overall, 15-for-22, which includes the 77 percent from 3-point range.
Despite the slow start, the Jackrabbits opened a nine point lead at 14-5 with 8 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first half, but a 7-0 Griz run cut the lead to just two points with just under six minutes left in the half and then cut the lead to one at 25-24 at halftime.
SDSU opened the second half on a 7-1 run to push the lead back to seven points at 32-25 with 18:23 to play, but the Griz responded with an 11-0 run and never trailed again, pushing the lead to as many as 12 points at 7:02 remaining.
The Jacks would cut the lead to 73-69, but with only 32 seconds left, and the Griz went 4-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the streak-snapping win.
“The 30 game winning streak was wonderful, but you’re not going to carry it forever, at some point you’re going to lose a game at home,” Nagy said. “So now we don’t have to talk about that anymore, even though it was nice to have over the summer.”
Jordan Dykstra led the Jackrabbits with 20 points, adding nine rebounds and a trio of assists. Brayden Carlson scored 17 points before fouling out of the game with 1:69 left in the game. Chad White added 13 points and Cody Larson nine points to go with his team-high 11 rebounds.
The Jackrabbits look to crack the win column for the first time this season, and start another streak on Monday, when they host Southwest Minnesota State inside Frost Arena at 7 p.m.