Jacks survive in Kansas City, beat ‘Roos, 65-60
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – South Dakota State trailed by as many as 10 points on two occasions in the first half of Saturday’s game at Kansas City, but the Jackrabbits overcame the slow start to secure a 65-60 win over the Kangaroos at Municipal Auditorium after some late game drama.
Up five at 61-56 with the ball and one minute, six seconds left to play in the game, a Jackrabbit turnover turned into a Kangaroo dunk that cut the lead to 61-58 with 34 seconds left. The Jacks then turned the ball over again, which resulted in another dunk to cut the lead to one.
Now up 61-60 with 15 seconds left and the ball, UMKC fouled Anders Broman, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving the Kangaroos the ball back with a chance to win the game, but Jake Bittle drew a charge from UMKC’s Martez Harrison, who then proceeded to commit a technical foul with four seconds left, giving the Jacks two free throws and the ball.
Brayden Carlson hit the free throws, and then Jordan Dykstra hit two more with three seconds left to secure the Jacks fourth straight win, which boosts their record to 8-7. UMKC falls to 3-9 with the loss.
“We didn’t practice well when we came back from Christmas break, and it extended into this game,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “I was really proud of the kids though to fight through it, we should’ve been down by more than three at half, we were fortunate that they shot poorly from the free throw line, which helped us, I think otherwise we wouldn’t have won the basketball game.”
SDSU came out cold, going 1 for 10 from the floor over the first five minutes of the game, while the ‘Roos went 6 for 9 over that same stretch, which resulted in a 13-3 lead for the home team.
Still down nine at 20-11 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Jackrabbits used an 11-2 run to tie the game at 22 capped by a Carlson 3-pointer with 7:06 left in the first half.
Carlson would tie the game again at 25-all, and then give the Jacks a 28-25 lead with two more triples, but UMKC outscored SDSU 8-2 over the rest of the half to take a 33-30 lead into the locker room.
The second half started with four lead changes and a pair of ties in the first four and a half minutes before the Jacks took the lead for good at 40-39 on a Carlson layup with 15:33 on the clock.
The Jacks led by as many as eight points, but never pulled away, setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
Carlson led the Jackrabbits with 20 points, adding six rebounds and tying for game-high honors with four assists. Cody Larson added 14 points and Dykstra 13 points, and tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds with Marcus Heemstra, who added eight points and a pair of blocked shots.
Nelson Kirksey led the Kangaroos with 16 points, with Trinity Hall adding 15 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
The Jackrabbits continue their season-long five game road trip on Friday, Jan. 3, when they take on Buffalo in their final non-conference game of the season. The Jacks and Bulls tip at 7 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. CT.
NOTES: South Dakota State leads the all-time series with UMKC 11-5, with wins in each of the last five games … the teams played in front of a crowd of 1,557 at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo. … SDSU won its first game of the season when trailing at the half in seven tries … Carlson scored at least 20 points for the second game in a row, for the third time this season and for the fifth time in his career … Dykstra moved from 14th on the all-time scoring list at SDSU to 13th with 1,388 career points, and needs just 11 more points to crack the top-10 … Chad White did not play in the game due to injury, which snaps a streak of 43 consecutive starts and 115 consecutive games played