Men’s basketball falls flat at Nebraska

Colton Prince, Assistant Sports Editor

The end of a nine-day road trip did not come to a pretty end Friday night, as the South Dakota State men’s basketball team fell 90-73 to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

In front of a full house numbering nearly 16,000 fans, the Cornhuskers cruised their way to their first win of the season as well as the first win in Fred Hoiberg’s time at Nebraska.

After a quiet first few minutes, the Huskers went on a tear that lasted most of the first half.

The Huskers took a commanding 18-6 lead early and never looked back, sinking 57% of their shots in the first half and stifling the Jackrabbit offense which was only able to shoot 9-for-33 from the field and 1-for-13 from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes.

“They saw the ball go through the hoop a few times and they thought anything could go in and they started shooting from the perimeter better,” said SDSU coach Eric Henderson. “That just got off to a really rough start.”

A big part of the Huskers production came from Cam Mack who scored a career-high 24 points, and helped his teammates get involved with four assists. Haanif Cheatham and Dachon Burke each added 17 points and Kevin Cross contributed 10 to round out the Nebraska double-digit scorers.

Turnovers also proved costly, as the Jacks’ nine first-half turnovers led to 11 Husker points.

Trailing by 31, SDSU put together a 13-6 run to bring the Husker lead down to 51-27 to end the first half.

The Jacks were able to settle in during the second half, shooting 54.1% from the floor and taking better care of the ball.

“I thought our guys had a lot more compete in the second half,” Henderson said. “We were able to keep the ball out of the paint for the most part and made them shoot tougher shots than we did in the first half.”

Despite the Jacks’ efforts, the Huskers stayed strong and continued roll, only allowing SDSU to come within 17 points in the second half.

Junior forward Doug Wilson was the bright spot for the Jacks, coming out with a 15 point, 14 rebound double-double. The rebounding mark was Wilson’s career-high in five games as a Jackrabbit. 

Another major contributor for the Jacks was Tray Buchannan. Coming off the bench, Buchannan knocked down 5-of-8 shots for a career-high 13 points.

SDSU will look to bounce back on Tuesday, Nov. 19, with a home game against Northern Alabama. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Frost Arena.