Jacks? worst shooting night dooms them in UMKC loss

Drue Aman

Drue AmanSports Editor

Matchups at Frost Arena this season have routinely shown the venue as a premiere harbinger for offense.

Not tonight. And not in SDSU’s favor, either.

The Jackrabbits (13-8, 5-5) found few semblances of the offensive firepower expected of their 14th nationally ranked scoring offense and allowed a 10-point lead to slowly erode and completely fizzle in a 63-58 head-scratching loss, its fourth conference home loss of the year.

“I honestly can’t figure it out,” said senior Dale Moss, who tied a career with 12 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. “We’re so gifted in so many areas and one thing we’re lacking is straight up toughness.”

The 2,222 fans in attendance at Frost Arena saw a general lack of quality shooting. Clint Sargent, who entered shooting 54 percent his previous three games from three-point range, went 3-for-14 from the field and 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. Leading scorer Nate Wolters finished with 19 points but on 21 shots from the floor. Those two players took over half of SDSU’s shots from the field.

That lower-than expected performance offensively overshadows an improved result on the defensive end. SDSU allowed eight points lower than average and accomplished 14 more field-goal attempts in the game than the Kangaroos did. Moreover, the Jacks’ offensive ineptitude fronted itself in the closing minutes of the second half, allowing a 20-6 UMKC run that finalized their fourth home conference loss before the midpoint of Summit League play.

“We’re more than a one-person team,” said UMKC head coach Matt Brown. “We’re not the most talented team, but we do what it takes to win.”

That win for UMKC came despite a poor game from preseason all-conference selection Jay Cousinard. The Kangaroos’ leading scorer finished with eight points and nearly as many turnovers with seven. Conversely, SDSU’s leading scorer, Wolters, finished with nearly a triple double, but saw little offensive production elsewhere, upperclassmen or underclassmen.

“We went inside to Nate, we got them inside to Chad, they just missed easy shots,” head coach Scott Nagy said.

“And only getting to the free throw line twelve times is not enough.”

None of that would have mattered if SDSU kept its lead that was as high as 10 points with 14:31 left in the second half, but 6-of-20 shooting from that point on allowed a Kangaroos comeback and descended the Jacks further in the conference standings.

“We’re begging teams to lose now, we’re not gonna pack it in obviously,” Moss said. “Even when we were struggling a few years ago we weren’t 2-4 [at home]. It’s frustrating.”

#1.1960071:1335594227.png:Clint2.png:Clint Sargent powers ahead with UMKC?s Michael Gholston Jr. defending in the first half of SDSU?s 63-58 loss to the Kangaroos on Jan. 27. Sargent finished the game with nine points.:Collegian Photo by Robby Gallagher