Nebraskan Mike Daum did his usual number on the other team Saturday night in South Dakota State’s 101-88 win at UNO.
But it was another one-time UNO target who beat back the Mavericks’ strongest challenge.
The Mavs, who fell behind 22-8, scrapped back to 44-35 with a minute left in the first half.
Then senior wing Reed Tellinghuisen of Sac City, Iowa, drilled back-to-back contested 3-pointers to give the Jackrabbits a 50-35 lead going into the break.
“That broke our backs a little bit,” UNO coach Derrin Hansen said.
The Jackrabbits (14-5), Summit League favorites, led by double digits throughout the second half in winning their second straight road game to open league play and hand the Mavs (5-13) their first home defeat.
Daum, a 6-foot-9 junior from Kimball, Nebraska, finished with 27 points on 10 of 17 shooting. He added 11 rebounds and four assists in delighting the section of blue-and-gold clad SDSU fans in the crowd of 3,447 at Baxter Arena, which included about 10 Daum family members who crossed the state to attend the game.
Daum climbed into third place on the school’s all-time scoring list. He’s averaging 22.7 points and 8.6 rebounds a game.
“With Mike, you become spoiled a little bit because putting the ball in the basket comes so naturally,” SDSU coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “What’s happened this year is he’s showing all the areas he worked at in the offseason: his ballhandling, his passing, his athleticism. He’s made huge strides forward.”
The Jackrabbits have made big strides, too, the Mavs say. They denied UNO a trip to the NCAA tournament last season with a two-point win in the Summit tournament finals.
But this season, the Jackrabbits surround Daum with shooters, UNO guard Zach Jackson said.
“It’s almost like he has more toys to play with,” he said.
Jackson had a big game for the Mavs, hitting 13 of 23 shots and finishing with a career-high 29 points. Guard JT Gibson added 18.
The Mavs as a team shot 51.5 percent in the second half after a cold first half, but they rarely knocked the Jackrabbits out of rhythm.
SDSU guard David Jenkins scored 22 points, Tellinghuisen added 16 and two more teammates reached double figures as the Jackrabbits shot 57.4 percent from the floor (35 of 61) and 13 of 24 (59.3 percent) from 3-point range.
“It’s a hard guard,” Hansen said.
That said, the Mavs must step it up defensively to get back in the Summit race, Jackson said. The Mavs, who are still missing their leading returning scorer, forward Mitch Hahn of Fremont (shoulder), dropped to 0-2 in league play entering Thursday night’s game at Western Illinois.
“We’ve just got to take more pride on the defensive end,” Jackson said. “We put up enough points every single night to win every single game we’ve been in.”