Jack’s comeback attempt falls short in loss to Bison


Evan Patzwald, Sports Reporter

First place in the Summit League was on the line for the South Dakota State men’s basketball team Saturday night in Fargo, ND. SDSU (13-6, 7-3) outscored the NDSU (12-10, 10-4) 37-17 in the final 13 minutes of the game but fell just short losing 84-82.

The Jackrabbits were down as many as 22 midways through the second half before they started initiating a full-court press and a 2-3 zone on defense, which sparked the comeback attempt for the visiting team. Multiple turnovers from the Bison off inbounds plays ensued.

Douglas Wilson, Matt Dentlinger, and Matt Mims executed the press well on every possession as Wilson finished with four steals and Mims had three.

“I thought Mims and Dentlinger had fantastic weekends,” coach Eric Henderson said. “They brought great energy, but we need consistency from our guys every night. That’s what we need to find, and we have two weeks to do that.”

Wilson was coming off a career-low in points in the previous game against the Bison, only logging four points. Tonight, was a different story. He finished with 29 points to lead his team shooting 11-of-16 from the floor.

“After last night he was pretty disappointed with how he played,” Henderson said. “He’s not playing his best either and as one of our captains, I’m challenging him to hold everybody accountable.”

After a missed free throw by Rocky Kreuser for the Bison with eight seconds left in the game, the Jacks were down four needed a quick play but couldn’t get a good shot off and settled for a layup. That left a tenth of a second left on the clock as there was no time to foul resulting in the two-point loss.

“You don’t say hello when it’s time to say goodbye,” Henderson said. “We had to do something, and the press gave us fight, and it wasn’t perfect, but you better have energy and physicality to win championships.”

All the shots were falling in the first half for NDSU as they shot 69% on field goals which made it easy to jump out their big lead.

“We came out flat and didn’t have a lot of energy,” Henderson said. “They were getting us on the glass and we just didn’t have that fight early. But I was happy with how our guys responded in the second half.”

Baylor Scheierman logged 14 points and Dentlinger pitched in 15 for the Jackrabbits. Kreuser led the Bison with 17 points and Sam Griesel put up 15 as well.

With the loss, SDSU fell to third in the Summit League standings at 7-3, while NDSU moved up to second at 10-4 only behind USD.

Looking ahead to next weekend, the Jacks return home after their stretch of road games to host Kansas City, who are currently riding a six-game win streak.

“They’re a physical basketball team,” Henderson said of UMKC. “They’re gonna foul you like crazy, but I’m excited to be back home next week in front of our great fans at Frost Arena.”