HISTORY DASHED: Shooting Struggles Cost SDSU Shot At Upsetting Gonzaga
Jackrabbits Fall In NCAA Tournament To Bulldogs 66-46
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — For much of their NCAA Tournament First Round game with top seed Gonzaga, the 16th seeded South Dakota State men’s basketball team was able to hang with the vaunted Bulldogs and offer hope that they could pull off the first ever upset of a number one seed by a sixteen in the NCAA Tournament.
Ultimately, poor shooting cost State their shot at history.
SDSU shot just 18-58 for the game (31%), allowing Gonzaga to pull away in the second half and win 66-46.
Despite the shooting struggles, the Jacks led for most of the first half thanks to strong defense. The Bulldogs didn’t take their first lead of the game until the 1:40 mark of the first half and were up 26-22 at the break. After getting back within three 47 seconds into the second half, the Jacks gave up an 8-0 run that gave Gonzaga a double figure lead. State got back to within seven at 40-33 with 14:01 left before another 8-0 run doomed their comeback hopes.
SDSU’s Mike Daum led all scorers with 17 points and Chris Howell added 8. Jordan Matthews led Gonzaga with 16 points and three other Bulldogs scored 10 points each.
The loss ends the Jackrabbits season at 18-17. Their fourth NCAA Division One Tournament appearance was one of their least likely just two months ago when SDSU was in last place and on the verge of missing their own conference tournament. A late season surge and dramatic run in Sioux Falls gave SDSU it’s second consecutive Summit League Tournament title. The Jacks will lose two 5th year transfer seniors in Michael Orris and A.J. Hess.
Stay with KDLT for more coverage on air and online. For more on the game, the recap from the SDSU athletic department is posted below.
NOTE-Due to NCAA restrictions we are not allowed to post any highlights from the game on our web platforms.
SDSU Athletic Department Recap
SALT LAKE CITY — No. 16 seed South Dakota State went toe-to-toe with the West Region’s No. 1 seed, but came up short in a 66-46 loss to Gonzaga in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
SDSU finished the year 18-17 overall after reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season,
Jordan Matthews scored 17 to lead the Bulldogs while Johnathan Williams pulled down 14 rebounds as Gonzaga finished the game 39.7 percent from the field.
Neither team lit up the nets, as a defensive battle saw just 48 total points scored in the opening 20 minutes and 112 points overall.
SDSU built an 8-2 lead through the opening 3:09, but saw Gonzaga climb back to draw even, 12-all, before the under-12 break. From there, the teams traded baskets, but the Jacks did not relinquish the lead until late in the half when a Zach Collins layup put the Bulldogs ahead 23-22 with 1:40 on the clock. GU hit three more free throws in the final 90 seconds and South Dakota State trailed, 26-22, at the break.
Though State scored the first points of the second, it was the Bulldogs that fired out of the gates, stretching their lead to nine (35-26) to force a Jackrabbit timeout at 17:20.
GU opened up a double-digit lead moments later, but a 3-pointer from Lane Severyn at 15:33 pulled SDSU to within nine (40-31). The Jacks held the Bulldogs scoreless for the next two minutes, but were only able to climb within seven (40-33) before the Zags responded with a burst of eight straight to go up 15 near the 10-minute mark.
Down the stretch, SDSU saw its Cinderella hopes disappear as Gonzaga heated up from the field and advanced to the round of 32.
- Mike Daum moved into 12th on SDSU’s all-time scoring list with 1,396 points. He passed Chris White (1,380), Jason Sempsrott (1,390) and Bob WInzenburg (1,395).
- Reed Tellinghuisen moved into 42nd in scoring at South Dakota State with 1,017 points. He passed Jim Walker (1,012).
- The Jackrabbits have reached the NCAA Tournament four times in the last six years.
- Graduate transfers Michael Orris and A.J. Hess closed out their careers after wearing the Jackrabbit uniform for one season.
State held Gonzaga to its second lowest scoring total and field goal percentage of the season.