Men’s basketball defeats Denver for their second victory of the season

Mike Schaefer

Mike Schaefer

Matt Cadwell led the Jacks’ attack with 18 points and 11 rebounds, as the Jackrabbits earned a 67-56 victory Sunday, Dec. 3, against the Denver Pioneers.

The win is the second on the year for SDSU, after defeating Arkansas State last week.

Denver took early control, establishing a quick lead. After falling behind 17-11, the Jacks struck back with an 18-2 run. The Jacks never trailed again, and took a 32-27 lead into halftime.

The second half went much the same for the Jacks, who improved their lead to 18 points before surviving a late Pioneer charge.

Kai Williams scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Jacks. Williams went 4-for-5 from the field, including two three-pointers. Michael Loney added 10 points, and also went 4-for-5 from the field. Freshman guard Garrett Callahan dropped nine and added three assists for SDSU.

However, the real story for the Jacks this season has been the outstanding play of sophomore guard Cadwell. After an early season slump, Cadwell has hit double figures in every game since Idaho.

Loney and Williams have also stepped up their play so far for the Jacks in the early season stretch. The pair has been big on the boards, and has helped provide additional scoring punches for Cadwell to go off of. Williams, a freshman from Canada, has adjusted quickly and become an immediate contributor. Loney, a junior from Iowa, has grown with the system and is starting to come into his own.

The Jacks have upcoming games with Minnesota, Thursday, Dec. 7, and Montana, Sunday, Dec. 10. The Golden Gophers are ripe for an upset, as they are coming off a turbulent week. After losing five games in a row, they pulled off a victory against Arizona State. The Gophers sustained a bigger loss with the resignation of their coach, Dan Monson. Interim coach Jim Molinari stepped in to take control. Molinari has some D-1 coaching experience. He coached at Bradley for 11 seasons.

Montana has a 3-4 record with two games to come before they take on South Dakota State. The Grizzlies defeated the Golden Gophers, 72-65, on Nov. 26. Like the Jacks, the Grizzlies are a young team, looking to gain some experience this year, to truly compete next year.

The Jacks have a tough month ahead of them. Five of the next six games are on the road, including an intriguing matchup with the University of Missouri-Kansas City. UMKC is a member of Mid-Continent Conference, which the Jacks will join next season. This is the first opportunity the Jacks will have to athletically impress their soon-to-be counterparts. UMKC has played a tough schedule this year that included quite a few tournament teams, and the game will likely challenge the Jacks.

Another interesting game of note is a late month visit to Moscow, Idaho, where the Jacks will look to extract some revenge for a home opening loss dealt by the Vandals on Nov. 16. The Vandals 74-66 victory featured an enticing scoring battle between Vandals’ Keoni Watson and the Jacks’ Cadwell. Watson’s team won the game, and he won the individual battle, dropping 26 points, as Cadwell kept pace, but finished with 20.

#1.883900:4288502126.jpg:sdsuvsutah04.jpg:Blake Yackley of South Dakota State looks for an open teammate around Utah State defender Jaycee Carroll during their game on Nov. 31.:#1.883899:1893575886.jpg:sdsuvsutah02.jpg:Matt Cadwell drives around Utah State defender Durrall Peterson on Nov. 29.: