Scoring record falls in 74-71 loss
VERMILLION - Nate Wolters scored the 15 points he needed to break the South Dakota State men's basketball career scoring record, with 11 points to spare, but slow start by the Jackrabbits left them in too big of hole to climb out of in a 74-71 loss at South Dakota.
"We're proud of him, and I told him that after the game. It's a great accomplishment, but it's certainly bittersweet, happening the way that it did tonight," head coach Scott Nagy said of Wolters breaking the school scoring record. "I know that it isn't anything that he really wants to talk about, but at the same point, it's a tremendous accomplishment, and we all share in it, we all had a part in it, but certainly he had the most to do with it."
"It's definitely a good accomplishment, but it's obviously not the way I wanted it to turn out," Wolters said after the game in reference to setting the record and the final score. "It's a tough loss, and we have to bounce back from it."
Wolters game-high 26 points gives him 1,943 points, topping the mark of 1,931,set by Jackrabbit Legend, and all-time rebounds leader, Mark Tetzlaff , who also sends his congratulations to Wolters.
"Nate is worthy player to become the all-time scoring leader at SDSU," Tetzlaff said of Wolters breaking his record, set from 1981-85. "He has been an enjoyable player to watch. He always seemed ready to play every game, which makes a great player. I wish him the very best the rest of the year as a Jackrabbit, and in the future with all his possibilities."
As for the rest of the game, it saw three early lead changes before the Coyotes (7-10, 3-2 Summit) went up for good on a Karim Rowson layup with 12 minutes and 34 seconds left in the first half, part of a 14-2 run that put the home team up 28-18 with 8:04 left in the opening half.
The lead would grow to as many as 20 points, before Brayden Carlson cut it to 42-25 with a 3-pointer on the last basket of the first half, giving South Dakota a 42-25 lead at the break.
SDSU struggled from the floor in the opening half, going 8-of-32 from the floor, 25 percent. USD, on the other hand, shot 55.2 percent in going 16-of-29 from the floor.
"We looked like we'd been on the road for a month, and played like it in the first half," Nagy said. "We had to play almost perfect in the second half, and we did a good job of getting back into the game, but we put too much pressure on ourselves."
South Dakota pushed the lead back to 20 with the first basket of the second half, only to see the Jacks halve the lead to 47-37 less than six minutes later on a Wolters 3-pointer.
The record-breaking shot came with 9:47 left in the game and cut the lead to eight points at 56-48.
The Jacks would eventually make it a one possession game on six different occasions during the final 1:13, and even cut the lead to one point at 72-71, but that came with four seconds left and they could never get over the hump.
Along with his 26 points, Wolters added five rebounds and five assists. Chad White pitched in with 16 points and Carlson 11 points in the loss, which drops the Jackrabbits to 11-6 overall and to 2-2 in The Summit League.
Juevol Myles led four Coyotes in double figures with 22 points. Brandon Bos added 16, Casey Kasperbauer 14 and Trevor Gruis 12 points in the win.
The Jackrabbits return home to Frost Arena on Thursday for the first time since Dec. 9, to face Oakalnd in Summit League action. The Jackrabbits and Golden Grizzlies tipoff at 7 p.m.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series with South Dakota 116-89-1 ... the teams played in front of an announced crowd of 5,045 in the DakotaDome ... Wolters scored his school record 1,943 points in 112 games ... Tetzlaff, who holds the SDSU career rebounding record with 1,132, played in 118 games in his career ... Wolters scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and for the 96th time in his career, including in all of the last 53 games ... Wolters surpassed the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season and for the 50th time in his career ... White reached double figures for the ninth time this season and for the 37th time in his career ... Carlson scored 10 or more points for the eighth time this season and for the 15th time in his career