Jackrabbits cannot dig out of 18-point hole

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

An early 18-point lead by Cal Poly proved too much to overcome, as the SDSU men’s basketball team lost 66-62 on Feb. 21 in San Luis Obispo, Calif., in an ESPNU BracketBuster game.

“It’s a strange game out there in California, and I am concerned it may be a little hard for our players to get ready for, but I think it will be hard for Cal Poly to get ready for. We still have to do a good job and do our best regardless of the situation,” said head coach Scott Nagy after the North Dakota State game.

Early on, it appeared that Nagy was correct in that it might be hard for SDSU to get ready for the Mustangs, as Cal Poly stormed out to a 21-3 lead just six-and-a-half minutes into the game.

The Jacks would erase the double-digit advantage and take the lead 41-39 on a Kai Williams layup early in the second half. From that point on, neither team had larger than a five-point lead with SDSU being ahead by five, with under seven minutes left.

With the Jacks down two in the final minute, a Kai Williams 3 pointer in the final seconds missed its mark. Cal Poly got the rebound and ended the game with a dunk and a 14-5 run.

“I would just be nice if our kids would grow up and do what they are capable of doing because we are capable of better than this,” said Nagy. “It needs to change this year.”

It was the seventh time this season that the Jacks (12-17, 7-9) have lost a game in which they had a lead in the second half and the fifth time this season that they have lost with a chance to win the game in the final minute.

“We are not going to continue to do this,” Nagy said. “I don’t know how I am going to get it changed, but I am going to get it changed. I am going to do whatever I’ve got to do. I just can’t watch this anymore on the road.”

Kai Williams led the Jacks in scoring with 19 points, while Dale Moss continued his strong play of late, with 18 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Moss, a sophomore from Brandon, had been averaging 3.98 points and 2.6 rebounds his first 53 games at SDSU, but in his last three games, Moss has averaged 19.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Moss had never scored more than 14 points in his career during his first 53 games, but has scored 27, 15 and 18 points in his last three games.