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

Strong start lifts Iowa State past Jackrabbits

Cyclones advance in NCAA Tournament
SDSU Athletics
Luke Appel, who scored nine points with seven rebounds, gets defended by Iowa State’s Curtis Jones (5) and Robert Jones (12) during an NCAA Tournament first round game in Omaha, Nebraska.

The South Dakota State men’s basketball season ended in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to the Iowa State Cyclones 82-65.

ISU got off to a hot start, connecting on their first 10 shots of the game and went up 22-7 just six and a half minutes into the game.

The Cyclones ability to pressure the ball and turn defense into offense proved to be the biggest difference in the early going, and showed the Yellow and Blue this would be no easy task to knock off the Big 12 champions.

“It’s just something you can’t really simulate,” junior guard Zeke Mayo said. “They fly to the ball like something we haven’t seen all season. Credit to them, they played fantastic on the defensive end.”

For the game, Iowa State recorded 11 steals, which for them is par for the course, as they averaged 10.4 a game coming in.

As the first half went on, South Dakota State was able to slow things down offensively and got some key stops on defense, leading to just a seven-point halftime deficit.

Avoiding the early blowout, it felt like the Yellow and Blue were a serious threat to upset the No. 2 seeded Cyclones.

After a William Kyle III floater with 18 minutes to play in the game, the score sat Iowa State 42, South Dakota State 38, and the Jackrabbit faithful inside the CHI Center in Omaha came alive.

“They are really good, but being down four in the second half after being down 15-3 is just a credit to our teammates and how we stay together,” senior forward Luke Appel said. “But there’s a reason they’re ranked No. 4 in the country and are the No. 1 defense.”

After the early 5-2 scoring run by the Jacks to begin the second half, ISU went on a run of their own.

A three from Milan Momcilovic, a fastbreak layup from Keshon Gilbert, two free throws and another three-pointer from Tamin Lipsey, and a fastbreak dunk from Hason Ward sparked a 12-0 run by the Cyclones in less than two minutes.

South Dakota State was again down by double digits, but this deficit ultimately ended the season.

Iowa State built as much as a 25-point lead in the second half and stymied any chance of a Jackrabbit upset.

SDSU never held a lead in this game in big part due to a 58% shooting performance from the floor by the Cyclones.

Moreover, ISU connected on 11 three pointers on 23 attempts, good for 48%.

Three players finished in double figures for the Jacks. Mayo finished with 19 points on 66% shooting from long range, William Kyle III added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists and Charlie Easley poured in 11 more points, three rebounds, and three assists.

For Iowa State, five players finished in double figures, but true freshman Momcilovic led the team in scoring with 19.

“He was pretty impressive,” SDSU coach Eric Henderson said on Momcilvoc’s performance. “He has great poise, for him playing in his first NCAA tournament, the poise that he has, the patience that he has, the size that he has, like that Dirk shot is kind of unguardable.”

Lipsey was not far behind with 17 points, including seven assists. Gilbert scored 15 more points and another five assists, Curtis Jones finished with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists, and Hason Ward scored another 10 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting.

With the loss, the Jacks fell to 0-7 all-time in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

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