Wilson, hot shooting lead SDSU past UND
Potential Summit League Player of the Year Douglas Wilson may have just had his statement moment on Wednesday night, dropping 31 points on 14-of-17 shooting while adding six rebounds and four assists to lead South Dakota State past North Dakota, 94-83, from the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Wilson and Jackrabbits (21-8, 12-2 Summit League) were dynamic on the offensive side of the ball, shooting over 64% from the field, including a 72.7% clip in the second half, to tally the most points by a conference opponent against UND (12-15, 6-7 Summit League) this season.
North Dakota wasn’t too shabby on offense either, with a trio of players crossing the 20-point plateau for the first time this season and shooting at a 52.6% clip from the field. Filip Rebraca and Kienan Walter each struck for 23 points to lead the Fighting Hawks, with the Serbian adding five rebounds and all seven of Walter’s field goals coming from three.
Marlon Stewart was back to his high-scoring ways with his ninth 20-point outing in the 13 conference contests with 21 points and eight assists to notch his 20th straight game in double figures. The streak is the first to reach 20 tilts since Quinton Hooker had a run of 22 straight in the 2015-16 season.
In a game that didn’t finish with a lot of misses, UND finished with only 20 rebounds while SDSU grabbed only 29. The 20 boards are the fewest in a game since Nov. 14, 2018 at Kentucky and the fewest in a conference game since Jan. 27, 2018 at Idaho.
It was a game of runs in the first half, with the contest featuring 12 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes. The shot from distance was a large part of the frame, as UND sank seven from distance and South Dakota State answered with four of its own.
Walter was the main catalyst for the hot start from deep with five triples of his own for a team-best 15 points at the break. The senior ended the first half with a three to send the hosts to the locker room down by just five, 44-39.
South Dakota State came out strong offensively to open the second half, sinking eight of its first 10 shots from the field to open up a 64-50 lead with just under 12 minutes to play. Missed shots by the Hawks sparked the run for the Jacks, as UND sank only five of 11 shots, including just one of seven from three.
North Dakota started to make its run back into the game after the under-8 timeout. The Hawks forced the visitors into some foul trouble and one of the nation’s top teams from the charity stripe made them pay with six makes at the line before Walter’s sixth triple of the night cut the deficit to eight, 74-66, with just over five to play.
UND kept the run going, cutting the lead to five on a pair of occasions, but South Dakota State just couldn’t miss down the stretch to push the lead back to double digits and hold on for the 94-83 victory.
North Dakota returns to action against the school from Fargo on Saturday night for the final home game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center this season.