From Comcast SportsNetFORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) -- Nate Wolters scored a school-record 53 points and broke another mark with nine 3-pointers as South Dakota State defeated IPFW 80-74 Thursday night.Wolters' point total is the highest this season by a Division I player, bettering a 47-point performance by Oakland's Travis Bader on Jan. 24 against IUPUI. He broke Dave Thomas' school record of 44 points (March 10, 1973 vs. Coe College) and Randy Suarez's mark of eight 3-pointers (Feb. 7, 1987 vs. Augustana).Wolters was 9 for 14 from beyond the arc, 17 for 28 overall and 10 for 11 at the free-throw line. He scored 38 of his points in the second half, helping South Dakota State (19-6, 10-2 Summit) shoot 64 percent from the floor and overcome an 11-point deficit."They were sagging off of me and my shot felt pretty good tonight," Wolters said. "I was able to knock a couple down and just got into a little bit of a rhythm."It's a good accomplishment, but it's a big win for us. We had to have it. ... They played tough, but we were able to put together a big second half and pull away."Wolters' 3-pointer with 1:47 remaining gave the Jackrabbits their first lead of the half, 70-68, and helped them finish the game on a 13-6 run. He added his sixth 3-pointer of the second half with 58 seconds remaining to put South Dakota State ahead 73-69 and hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 90 seconds."What happened tonight is the result of a lot of time in the gym for Nate, and sometimes kids get in a zone, they feel it, and it doesn't matter what they do, you can't stop them," South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy said. "That was the case tonight, and Nate knew it, the players knew it, I knew it."Frank Gaines led IPFW (10-15, 3-8) with 29 points, and Luis Jacobo had 14. The Mastadons lost despite hitting 9 of 20 3-point attempts and outrebounding the Jackrabbits 37-29.The 53-point performance is the third-highest in Summit League history, trailing only North Dakota State's Ben Woodside (60 vs. Stephen F. Austin, Dec. 12, 2008) and Kansas City's Michael Watson (54 vs. Oral Roberts, Feb. 22, 2003).
BOSTON – It has been well-established that the Celtics are a three-point shooting, bombs away kind of team and nothing seems like it’ll deter them from continuing along that path.
But as we prepare for the second half of the season, beginning tonight against the New York Knicks, we come to realize Boston’s launching of 3-pointers isn’t just unusually high.
This group of Celtics rank among the league's all-time leaders in 3-point attempts by the halfway mark of the season.
And when you look at the company they’re keeping when it comes to 3-point shooting, it speaks to how important it has become in this NBA to have as many long-range shooting threats on the floor as possible if you're trying to win at a high level.
Boston’s 494 3-point attempts thus far this season ranks fourth all-time by the halfway point of a season. But this season, that’s just good enough to be third behind Houston and Golden State with 617 and 505 three-point attempts, respectively.
The other team in the top four all-time is last season's Golden State squad, which took 519 three-pointers by the midway point of the season.
And all those 3’s by the Celtics have included an NBA-record six straight games in which they made at least 15 3-pointers.
That has allowed the Celtics to score at least 100 points in 15 consecutive games, the franchise’s longest such streak since they reached the 100-point plateau in 19 straight games in 1991.
Of course Isaiah Thomas’ 3-point shooting stands out, particularly when you see how dominant he has been this season in the fourth quarter with a league-best 10.1 points per game.
But his offense, while potent, is aided heavily by the shot-making snipers coach Brad Stevens surrounds him with on a nightly basis.
That’s why you didn’t see Stevens or president of basketball operations Danny Ainge freak out earlier this season when the Celtics were struggling.
Kelly Olynyk, who shot better than 40 percent on 3’s a year ago, was still on the mend after offseason shoulder surgery.
Jae Crowder, whose 3-point shooting has steadily improved throughout his career, had some minor injuries that set him back and maybe more important, didn’t allow him to get into the kind of shooting rhythm we see now which has allowed him to shoot a team-best 42.6 percent on 3’s.
Al Horford, Thomas, Amir Johnson … they all missed some time due to injuries this season, which has impacted the team’s chemistry and timing.
But the past couple of weeks have seen the Celtics healthier than they’ve been most of this season, and it has allowed them to play with the kind of space they want which has allowed Thomas and his cohorts to take lots of lightly contested to open 3’s most of this season.
“We’ve got pretty good shooters on this team where you’ve got to pick your poison,” Thomas said. “We’re shooting at a high level, and I got to say, you just have to pick your poison who you want to stop and my job is just to make the right play each and every time down.”
FOXBORO -- Malcolm Mitchell indicated before Wednesday's practice that he's feeling pretty good despite missing last weekend's Divisional Round matchup with the Texans due to a knee injury.
"I'm feeling well," he said. "Just taking it day by day. Preparing. I just go from there."
Mitchell suffered the injury in a Week 16 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium. He missed the regular-season finale and has been limited in practice in recent weeks.
Mitchell was present for Wednesday's fully-padded practice outdoors, and he said it was crucial for him to prepare as though he will play even if he's unsure as to whether or not he'll be called upon.
"That's the most important thing," he said. "Be ready for any opportunities that could come about."
He added: "As a competitor, no one wants to miss a game. What's important is the team going out theere and competing whether I was out there or not."
Should Mitchell be at all limited moving forward, the Patriots would likely continue to lean upon Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan as their top options. Both Danny Amendola and Michael Floyd were in uniform for last weekend's playoff matchup with Houston as well.
Hogan suffered a thigh injury that knocked him from the Texans game, but he said on Tuesday that he was progressing well, and he was also on the field for Wednesday's practice.
Mitchell said there is a sense of confidence in the receivers room that because of their depth, they'll be good to go as a group even if one or two members of the unit are at less than 100 percent.
"We know there's some things we can't control," he said, "but our coach does a good job of getting everybody ready."