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MINNEAPOLIS — No answers could be found for Northern Iowa’s offensive woes inside Minneapolis’ spacious NFL venue Saturday night.

Lobbing shot after shot from the perimeter, UNI remained cold throughout an 82-50 loss to defending Summit League regular-season and tournament champion South Dakota State inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

This marks UNI’s largest margin of defeat since an 85-42 setback at North Carolina in the Panthers’ 2016 nonconference finale.

South Dakota State’s versatile 6-foot-9 All-American Mike Daum showcased his full arsenal early — knocking down his first five field goals that included an emphatic dunk and a 3-pointer over Shandon Goldman — and paced the Jackrabbits with 24 points. Daum finished 6 of 8 from the field and added 11 rebounds as South Dakota State improved to 7-2.

“I think what we showed from start to finish in this game is just how together we were as a team,” said Daum, a senior who has guided the Jackrabbits to three consecutive Summit League tournament titles. “The camaraderie of our team is unbelievable. This is for me the closest team I’ve been to in terms of guys on and off the court and how much we want to see each other succeed.”

Daum also made 11 of 12 free throw attempts for a South Dakota State team that finished 26-for-31 from the charity stripe. UNI, in contrast, attempted just seven free throws.

“They do a great job defensively, kind of trying to put you on your heels, switching a lot of screens,” SDSU coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “We talked to our guys in the timeouts about making sure that we drove the ball to the paint and played off two feet. Mike (Daum) drew eight fouls himself being aggressive and going to the rim. We continue to talk to our guys about we need to control the paint.”

UNI (3-5) has now dropped five of its last seven games since last playing inside the McLeod Center on Nov. 6. The Panthers settled for 35 3-point attempts on this night, making eight for a 22.9 percent success rate.

A scoreless stretch of 4 minutes, 57 seconds in the first half allowed South Dakota State to compile 11 straight points within an 18-2 run that gave the Jackrabbits a 24-7 lead.

“That’s two games in a row where we’ve gotten behind the eight ball with what felt like were some good offensive possessions,” UNI coach Ben Jacobson said. “We had some pretty good looks from the 3-point line and the guys that are taking them, Spencer (Haldeman), Wyatt (Lohaus), AJ (Green) are guys that are really good shooters.

“It isn’t a situation where we’re going to change in terms of having those guys take or not take those shots, they need to keep taking those shots.”

UNI’s coach, however, quickly pointed out there will be some changes coming on the offensive end.

“We’re going to need to be able to shift gears a little bit and find some things inside with some post touches and find some things going to the rim where we can get to the free throw line,” Jacobson said. “We’ve got to add that to our offense.”

Trae Berhow, a transfer from Pepperdine who grew up in nearby Mayer, Minn., led UNI with 19 points, including the Panthers’ first 10. No other UNI player scored more than six points.

Isaiah Brown’s pull-up jumper sandwiched in between a pair of Berhow 3-pointers marked the first UNI field goal by anyone other than Berhow in 13 attempts. That eight-point run cut UNI’s deficit to nine with 7:29 left in the first half and a Wyatt Lohaus 3-pointer made it a 26-18 game with 6:18 left in the half, but that was as close as the Panthers would get.

UNI’s lead scorer, freshman point guard AJ Green, was held scoreless in the first half before knocking down a pull-up jumper and 3-pointer to start the second stanza. Green managed just five points and has now been held under 10 in back-to-back games after scoring at least 15 points through the first six of his career.

“We’ve got to take a look at where we start him offensively, in terms of what spot we start him on the floor,” Jacobson said of Green. “I think his goes a little bit hand and hand with the other guys. Can we find ways to get him in situations where he can drive it and get some things going to the basket? Put him in some situations where he’s able to get to the free throw line.”

SDSU 82, UNI 50

UNI Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

McDonnell 14 0-0 0-0 2 3 2 0

Green 25 2-7 0-0 2 0 2 5

Berhow 28 7-13 2-2 7 2 4 19

Brown 27 2-8 0-0 4 2 1 5

Phyfe 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Pickford 17 3-8 0-0 5 0 3 6

Goldman 20 1-3 0-1 2 2 2 3

Haldeman 17 0-9 0-0 1 1 1 0

Wentzien 14 0-1 4-4 3 2 2 4

Conrey 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Dahl 1 1-1 0-0 2 0 0 2

Team 3

Totals 200 18-58 6-7 32 13 21 50

SDSU Mn FG-A FT-A Rb As PF TP

Daum 33 6-8 11-12 11 1 2 24

Flatten 36 4-8 7-9 1 5 1 17

King 30 24 5-12 4-4 4 2 2 16

Arians 33 4-6 2-4 6 1 2 11

Dentlinger 6 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 2

Krueger 8 0-2 0-0 0 1 2 0

Dillon 3 1-1 0-0 2 0 0 2

Team 2

Totals 200 25-49 26-31 36 19 13 83

UNI 25 25 — 50

SDSU 40 42 — 82

3-point goals—UNI 8-35 (Green 1-4, Berhow 3-8, Lohaus 2-6, Brown 1-4, Pickford 0-2, Goldman 1-2 Haldeman 0-8, Wentzien 0-1), SDSU 6-19 (Daum 1-1, Flatten 2-5, King 0-3, Jenkins 2-6, Arians 1-2, Krueger 0-2).Blocks—UNI 4 (Goldman 2), SDSU 1 (Flatten). Turnovers—UNI 15 (Pickford 3), SDSU 10 (Jenkins 3). Steals—UNI 6 (Lohaus 2), SDSU 9 (Flatten 3).

Officials—Beaver, Anslinger, Stewart. Att.—3,184.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Courier

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