Summit League Men: South Dakota State Hangs on to Beat South Dakota
The road is not a kind place for Summit League men’s basketball teams, especially when South Dakota State plays South Dakota. The home team has dominated this series lately, riding a nine game winning streak heading into Saturday’s State-U match-up in the Coyotes home building, the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
That streak is now history as the Jackrabbits led by as many as 15 in the second half and held on to win 70-68.
Brayden Carlson got the Jacks on top early as he scored 12 of SDSU’s first 18 points, and South Dakota State led by as many as seven with 8:30 gone. Carlson had 12 first half points.
South Dakota went to its bench and the Coyote reserves sparked a rally with Casey Kasperbauer with 8 quick points and Adam Thoesby adding a lay-in and two free throws to put USD up for the first time at the 6:05 mark of the first half.
The Coyote lead would grow to as many as five, but SDSU scored the final four points of the half to make it 32-31 South Dakota at intermission.
The top scorers for each team struggled in the first 20 minutes. USD center Trevor Gruis had just one field goal, while SDSU forwards Jordan Dykstra and Cody Larson were a combined 1-of-8 from the floor.
USD shot 46 percent in the first half, SDSU 36 percent.
The Jackrabbits shooting woes vanished quickly in the second half, as Chad White scored five quick points igniting a 23-9 run during which SDSU hit 8-of-14, while USD made just 1-of-6, and the South Dakota State lead was 54-41 with 11:30 left.
The lead grew to 15 before USD came storming back thanks to five points from Kasperbauer and five from Trey Norris over a 4:30 stretch, the 12-2 run pulling the Coyotes to within five with 5:58 to play.
SDSU had the ball with a four point lead with 1:32 left, when Jordan Dykstra was stripped of the ball leading to a Trey Norris basket at the other end cutting the Jacks lead to 68-66.
The Coyotes forced another turnover on SDSU’s next possession when Jake Bittle traveled. But Bittle made up for the miscue at the other end seconds later, drawing a charge from Norris and the Jacks held their two point lead with 23 seconds left.
The USD defense came up with another turnover moments later when Tavian Pomlee picked off a pass and fed Tyler Larson, but this time it was the SDSU defense forcing the turnover as Chad White stole the ball.
Bittle sealed the win seconds later with a pair of free throws. He scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
Carlson led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Dykstra finished with a double-double (16 points/11 rebounds), Marcus Heemstra added 10.
For USD, Kasperbauer had 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Gruis had 16 points, Norris added 14.
South Dakota State won the battle of the boards 32-22, limiting South Dakota to just two offensive rebounds.
The win was the second straight for for SDSU after trailing at the half, the Jacks had rallied from a second half deficit just once in their nine previous tries before this week.
The loss is the fourth straight for the Coyotes after starting the Summit League schedule with three straight wins.
South Dakota State (12-10/4-3) opens the second half of the Summit League schedule at home with Fort Wayne Thursday at 7:00pm and IUPUI Saturday at 4:00pm.
South Dakota (8-13/3-4) has a non-conference game at home with Peru State Tuesday at 7:00pm, before opening the second half of their Summit League schedule Saturday in Denver at 5:00pm.