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Jackrabbit men hold off Summit League newcomer St. Thomas

SDSU men light up the nets in the second half, stay perfect in conference play

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Summit League newcomer St. Thomas gave South Dakota State a tough battle Thursday night but the Jackrabbits pulled away in the final 5 minutes of gameplay and picked up a 92-77 conference win at Schoenecker Arena.

SDSU shot 77.3% in the second half, converting 17 of its 22 shots, including 8 of its last 9 field goal attempts and was 21-for-23 at the free-throw line in the game to hold off the Tommies.

Five Jackrabbits scored in double figures, led by Alex Arians’ 20 points. Zeke Mayo and Baylor Scheierman each had 15 points, with 14 from Douglas Wilson and 10 from Matt Mims for SDSU (16-4, 7-0 Summit). Scheierman added 11 rebounds and eight assists in a near-triple-double effort.

St. Thomas (8-9, 2-3 Summit) led for 24 minutes of the game — including 40-35 at halftime — and held a 56-49 advantage with 15 minutes left in the game but could not keep the Jackrabbits at bay. After the Tommies’ Ryan Lindberg had a 3-pointer with 5:52 remaining to tie the game at 72-all, SDSU outscored UST 20-5 and SDSU had a 13-2 run over the final 3:15 of game play.

Lindberg led the Tommies with 18 points, hitting six of St. Thomas’ 14 3-pointers in the game. It was St. Thomas’ first game in two weeks after having its schedule turned around by COVID-19 postponements.

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SDSU is set to play at Western Illinois on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. in Macomb, Illinois.

In other Summit League men’s basketball news Thursday, the conference postponed the game between South Dakota and Western Illinois scheduled for Thursday “out of an abundance of caution due to health and safety protocols within the Coyotes’ program.”

The game will be rescheduled at a later date. The Coyotes’ (10-7, 3-3 Summit) game Saturday at St. Thomas is currently still on as scheduled.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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