Men’s basketball starts out season facing the nation’s best

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

The basketball team started the season with a challenging schedule. They played the University of Kentucky and University of Illinois in two of their first three games. The Jacks currently have a 1-4 record.

The ‘Rabbits opened the season against the Kentucky Wildcats. The Jacks lost 71-54. SDSU scored first, going ahead 2-0. It was the only time during the whole game that the Jacks led. The Jacks were down by 13 at halftime. However, the team played the Wildcats almost even in the second half, never trailing by more than 19 points.

Ben Beran led the team with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting. The rest of the team shot poorly, connecting on only 13-of-48 shots.

The Jacks’ next game was against Northern Colorado. SDSU defeated the Bears 61-59 for their first win of the season. Redshirt freshman Matt Cadwell scored the last three points for the Jacks on free throws. Cadwell finished the game with 11 points, all on free throws. Beran hit a buzzer-beater to end the first half with the Jacks leading 35-26.

The Jacks lost their halftime lead and were down 52-50 before taking the lead for good. The Jacks had a huge advantage in free-throw shooting, attempting 20 more shots and making 17 more baskets. Steve Holdren led the Jacks in scoring with 19 points, going 6-of-10 from the field.

Game three for the Jacks was against last year’s national championship runner-up, Illinois. The Jacks lost 90-65. Holdren, who graduated from Centennial High School in Champaign, Ill., had a good homecoming. He led the Jacks in scoring with 28 points. He hit 9-of-19 shots, including five three-pointers.

The Jacks were close for much of the first half. The Jacks led 10-7, and the teams were tied at 15. The Jacks were within 10 points most of the first half, but were down 46-32 at halftime.

The closest the Jacks got down the stretch was 63-49. The Jacks’ big men, Mohamed Berte, Michael Loney and Beran, spent much of the night in foul trouble. Berte played only 15 minutes before fouling out, and Beran only played 23 minutes before leaving the game.

The Jacks’ home opener was against Southeast Missouri State. The Jacks lost 75-68. SDSU started the game well, with a lead of 20-11 midway through the first half. The ‘Rabbits’ lead shrunk to eight points by halftime, 39-31. The Redhawks chipped away at the Jacks’ lead and took the lead with almost 10 minutes to play. The two teams would trade baskets before Missouri finally pulled away.

The Jacks out-rebounded the Redhawks, but the Redhawks had a higher shooting percentage.

Beran led the Jacks in scoring with 20 points. Berte had a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

The Jacks squared off agasint Cal State-Fullerton on Nov. 28. SDSU lost their second home game 82-70. The ‘Rabbits were down early and made a run in the second half, but never got closer than six points.

The schedule does not get any easier for the Jacks, as they take on two tough Wisconsin schools this week. The Jacks travel the University of Marquette on Dec. 3, and then the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee travels to Brookings for a Dec. 6 game. Marquette has become a NCAA tournament regular and Wisconsin-Milwaukee has also made the NCAA tournament a couple times in the past few years. The competition the Jacks face is impressive, which should make for good basketball.