Callahan’s career day wasn’t enough to get the Jacks a win in Lincoln.
As many SDSU students learned this Thanksgiving weekend, it’s nice to be home. The Jackrabbits men’s basketball team learned that too, in a much more difficult manner.
In the sixth game of their eight-game road trip, the Jacks (4-3) ran out of gas on the road against Nebraska, losing 76-64 in Lincoln and leaving SDSU 0-3 this season so far against power conference clubs. They have a chance to claim a win against a power conference team at Washington on Dec. 18.
“I told the players this game is my fault,” Jacks head coach Scott Nagy said. “This is just because I am the one that gives the final OK on the schedule. It’s too much. Not only did we have the road trip before this, but on this one, we’ve been on the road for six days and it shows.”
Like the games at Minnesota and Georgia, the Jacks stayed close during much of the first half. Nebraska (4-1) surged ahead with an 11-4 run and led by 10 at halftime.
The NU lead swelled to 12 points in the second half while the Jacks played just nie players. Regular contributors like Jordan Dykstra sat out with injuries. SDSU made a rally in the middle of the second half with a Griffan Callahan three-pointer, one of a career-high seven that he hit in the game, pulling the Jackrabbits within five points with just under 10 minutes left. But Nebraska would deliver the dagger with a Jorge Brian Diaz dunk with five minutes to go, putting NU’s lead back into double-digits and snuffing the Jacks’ upset hopes.
“The way South Dakota State plays, they’re just not going to make you look good. Statistically if you look at what we did, I think we did a really nice job,” Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said.
Beyond Callahan’s career-high 25 points, SDSU didn’t give their lone senior much help from the field. Nate Wolters came through with a usual stat line of 19 points and 8 assists, but the Huskers hounded him to the tune of 3 of 14 shooting from the floor and the Jacks only shot 34 percent all game.
The Jackrabbits returned to Brookings for a few days before hitting the road once more and starting the Summit League schedule with IUPUI on Thursday and Western Illinois on Saturday.
“It will be nice to be home and get a couple days to gain some normalcy and then we turn around and go right back on the road again,” Nagy said. “And we need practice. We haven’t had a chance to practice for six days. We need to practice on our offense.”