Big first-half run pushes SDSU past North Dakota

BROOKINGS, S.D. (UND Athletics) -- South Dakota State used a big run midway through the first half and would end up with a 99-63 victory over North Dakota Tuesday at Frost Arena.

The Fighting Hawks (4-6) were within four of the Jackrabbits (9-4) at 26-22 at the 10-minute mark of the first half, but the home team reeled off a 17-2 stretch over five minutes that put the game out of reach for the visitors.

"I thought when we got into foul trouble ... that really put us on our heels," UND head coach Brian Jones said. "We had to play a lot of smaller guys and they did a tremendous job of posting our guards and posting our bigs. That got us into foul trouble and we really allowed our offense, the lack of making wide open shots, to effect our toughness, energy and discipline."

Reigning Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum led four Jacks in double figures with a game-high 25 points.

UND senior Dale Jones had a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor to pace the Fighting Hawks, who also got 10 points from junior Conner Avants.

SDSU opened the game 10-for-12 from the floor, while UND started 8-for-13 to keep the visitors within striking distance.

Jones hit a triple from the top of the key to make it 22-17 just over minutes into the contest. That basket gave him nine quick points, but he would go to the bench after picking up his second foul on SDSU's next possession.

Marlon Stewart buried a corner 3-pointer that would make it a 26-22 contest before the Jacks put together the game-clinching run.

Daum went for 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor in the first half. He was went 7-for-8 from the foul line and got UND's starting big men in trouble as both Jones and Avants picked up two fouls in the first half.

Stewart's trey was the second and final one of the half for UND, who went just 2-for-14 from beyond the arc and finished the half 14-for-34 from the field after the team's fast start. The late-half shooting woes allowed SDSU to build a 55-30 lead at the break.

SDSU would finish the game shooting 58.9 percent from the floor and went 28-for-35 from the foul line. The Jacks went to the charity stripe 20 times before UND finally found its way there just over five minutes into the second half.

The Fighting Hawks came out firing in the second half, making a trio of 3-pointers to spark a 9-0 run, but the home team would quickly get those points back and push its lead to as many as 37.

UND will play its final tune-up before Big Sky play on Saturday at No. 12/13 Gonzaga on Saturday in Spokane. Tip-off against the Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.