Jacks end Summit League season undefeated


Joclyn Haven

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits became the first team in Summit League history to go undefeated in conference play. They now set their sights on the conference tournament, where they’ll face Omaha in the quarterfinals.

Skyler Jackson, Sports Editor (He/Him)

The South Dakota State men’s basketball team ended its regular season Saturday with a hard-fought 86-75 win in the Swinney Center against Kansas City, and with that they made history.

The Jackrabbits became the first team in Summit League history to finish the regular season undefeated in conference play. They went a perfect 18-0 in the conference, and are 27-4 overall this season.

But after needing a double-digit comeback and overtime to beat Oral Roberts two days earlier, the Jacks had to fight off numerous Kansas City rallies Saturday. Midway through the first half, SDSU built a 15-point lead after going on a 23-4 run. But UMKC responded with a 16-4 run of their own to cut the lead to three with under two minutes to go before eventually trailing by eight at halftime.

The Jacks would again push the lead to double digits midway through the second half, but the Roos would again not go quietly, quickly cutting the lead to five. But they could not get any closer, and the Jacks managed to hang on and win by 11.

Led by Baylor Scheierman’s 25 points and five three-pointers, four total Jackrabbits scored in double figures. Douglas Wilson finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in his final regular-season game. Charlie Easley scored 14 points and Zeke Mayo chipped in 12.

As a team, the Jackrabbits shot 53.7 percent from the field, 45 percent from behind the arc, got to the foul line 15 times in the second half, and hit 19-25 free throws total.

For the Roos (19-11, 12-6), they also had four players score in double figures. Josiah Allick led the team with 21 points and seven rebounds. Following him was Evan Gilyard II with 18 points and Arkel Lamar with 17. Marvin Nesbitt Jr. added 10 points and led the team with five assists.

UMKC also shot the ball 50 percent from the field, but only hit four of their 16 three-point shots.

With their regular season over, SDSU now looks ahead to the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls next weekend. The Jacks are the top seed in the tournament and will face eighth-seeded Omaha Saturday at 6 p.m.