Associated Press, Published December 23 2012
South Dakota State upsets No. 16 New Mexico in men's hoopsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A 1,220-mile bus trip, a gimpy ankle and a nationally ranked opponent were no hindrance to South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters against No. 16 New Mexico.
Wolters scored 28 points and handed out seven assists, leading South Dakota State to a 70-65 upset of No. 16 New Mexico on Saturday.
“I definitely wasn’t 100 percent,” Wolters said. “But once I got going I just tried to feed off my teammates. It felt pretty good out there.”
After a loss to Belmont, the Jackrabbits had to take a bus from Nashville, Tenn., because of a snowstorm.
“It wasn’t very fun, crossing the country, especially after a loss and the way we played on Wednesday, so this was big for us,” Wolters said.
Kendall Williams scored 21 to lead the Lobos, who went 7 of 12 from the foul line in the closing minutes to frustrate their own comeback efforts.
Wolters’ ankle has been hampered his play of late, so much so that Jackrabbits coach Scott Nagy warned him he might watch a good bit of the game from the bench.
“I told him if I see what I’ve seen in the past few games, I was going to sit him down because he couldn’t get by anybody,” Nagy said. “He had no burst. Maybe that’s what he needed to decide to give his ankle a try. And he pushed his ankle (Sunday) and he did pretty well.”
Jordan Dykstra had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Jackrabbits, who went 10-for-11 from the line down the stretch to preserve their lead. Chad White added 13 points for South Dakota State and Brayden Carlson had 10.
The Jackrabbits (10-4) led the final 37 minutes of the game after taking the lead with an early 8-0 run.
Wolters’ 3-pointer with 4:49 left in the first half gave South Dakota State its largest lead at 35-23. But the Lobos (12-1) closed the half with an 11-3 run to trail 38-34 entering the second half.
“The Wolters kid is the real deal and as a good a point guard as we’ve played all year,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. “I thought he really controlled the game for 40 minutes and did a really good job of running their team. You can tell that he’s their leader and other guys play very well off of him.”