South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Jacks drop Jacksonville Classic Opener

Andrew Petersen/SDSU Athletics
SDSU’s Luke Appel holds the basketball during a game at the Jacksonville Classic in St. Augustine, Fla. at Flagler College on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. Appel had a season-high 19 points shooting 3-of-5 from three.

With a one-point lead with 4 seconds left on the clock, Central Florida’s Omar Payne stood at the free-throw line. He knocked down two free throws to push the Knights’ lead to three, 83-80.

SDSU had one more shot to tie the game and force overtime in the second game of the night at the Jacksonville Classic Coast Bracket. Nate Barnhart got the long inbound to Charlie Easley who dribbled twice and pulled up from the right wing for the tie.

No good. Game over.

The Jackrabbits came up just short in a game that featured five lead changes and seven ties and had all the feeling of March Madness in mid-November.

UCF (3-1) pushed the score to their largest lead of the night at 8 with just over 17 minutes remaining in the game, 44-36. The Jackrabbits battled back scoring 7 points from both Easley and Barnhart who finished with his SDSU record 11 points.

The Jackrabbits (1-3) found themselves down 75-69 with just under 3 minutes left in the contest when Luke Appel made a three and knocked down two free throws after a stop on the defensive end to make it 75-74. Appel finished second tallying a season-high 19 points in 22 minutes of game time.

It was back and forth from there leading to the game-winning free throws from Payne who finished with 10 points on 4-4 shooting. The Knights had two 20-point scorers in the game with Marchelus Avery notching 22 and Sellers finishing with 20.

UCF shot 49% from the floor outpacing the Jacks’ 44%. Despite the disadvantage in field goals, the Yellow and Blue had their best game of the season from three shooting 12-for-28 which was good for nearly 43%.

Easley led the Jackrabbits with 21 points matching his total against K-State last week Monday. Zeke Mayo scored only 12 but paced the team in rebounds with eight.

SDSU will continue at the Jacksonville Classic on Monday taking on George Mason at 5 p.m. CT in St. Augustine. The game will be live streamed on Pass Tha Ball Live, which requires a subscription, and broadcast on the Jackrabbit Sports Network, AM 910 The Ranch in Brookings.

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About the Contributor
Brayden Byers
Brayden Byers, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Brayden Byers is a junior Journalism major from Linton, North Dakota. He has a minor in Digital & Social Media. Brayden is also the Program Director and Sports Director for the campus radio station KSDJ 90.7 FM.

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