T-Birds hit buzzer beater, down Jacks in overtime

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

The 13th time was not the charm as the Jacks failed to win their first ever Summit League road game. SDSU lost 85-80 in overtime at Southern Utah on Jan. 17.

SDSU led by as many as 10 points in the second half before the Thunderbirds tied the game in the final minute. Junior guard Garrett Callahan hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with three seconds left before Southern Utah freshman Jake Nielson hit a running 3-pointer of his own to take the game into overtime.

After SDSU guard Michael Palarca slipped on an in-bounds play and was called for traveling, Southern Utah got the ball back and closed the game out with free throws in the final seconds.

“We didn’t take the next step, but we still played competitively on the road,” said head coach Scott Nagy. “We were so close, but now this game is over. We have to come back the next time and learn from it. I have to do the same thing.”

Anthony Cordova, Griffan Callahan, Clint Sargent and Payton Tivis all had five fouls apiece, leaving the Jacks with only two available bench players late in the overtime period.

Nagy said that the guys off the bench played well, but it was the team’s inability to adapt to the way the officials called the game that really hurt SDSU.

“We had to adjust to the way that the officials were calling the game. They called a tight game, and we continued to put our hands on them. We didn’t get to play the up and down style that we wanted with the foul trouble.”

Sargent led all scorers with 24 points, including 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arch.

Southern Utah was led by three players who each put in at least 20 points: Tyler Quinney (20), Nielson (21) and Davis Baker (22).

The Jacks (8-12, 3-5 Summit League) return to action on Jan. 23 as they take on rival North Dakota State. NDSU is currently first in the Summit League with a 7-1 record, and the Bison have won five of the last six games in the series. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and can be seen live in South Dakota on KSFY-TV or in North Dakota on KXJB-TV.