Jack’s go cold in California

By ANDREW HOLTAN Sports Editor

The South Dakota State men’s basketball team will look to bounce back after losing their first two games of the season when they take on the Wayne State Wildcats Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The Jackrabbits fell in their first two outings of the season on the road, losing to California 82-53 on Friday, Nov. 11. They then fell to University of California Irvine Monday by the score of 73-58.

The Jacks shot only 28 percent in both outings and let their opponents shoot just under 50 percent.

“I think we didn’t make early and dug ourselves a hole in both games,” Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “That allowed them to sink down on Mike Daum and made it tough to get it down low.”

SDSU hung around in the first half against California and trailed 40-32 with 18:14 remaining in the game, but Cal would go on a 30-3 run to take control of the game.

“It’s the first game, new guys at the guard positions, which slowed us down,” Otzelberger said. “We needed to find poise, which is something we’re searching for and Cal’s a very good team and you have to play well against those types of teams to give yourself a chance.” 

Junior forward Reed Tellinghuisen led the Jacks in both games scoring 14 points against Cal and 15 points against UC Irvine.

Even though the Jacks lost in both outings, Otzelberger found some positives in the games.

“I think we’ve done a better job taking care of the basketball, especially with the young backcourt we have,” Otzelberger said. “We also won the free throw battle in both games, which is something we talked about.”

The Jacks turned the ball over 12 times in both games. They shot 81 percent from the free throw line against Cal and 76 percent against UC Irvine.

Up next for the Jacks will be a visit from Division II foe Wayne State. The Jacks are 15-1 all time against the Wildcats and defeated them 80-53 last year. This will be the fourth year in a row SDSU will play WSU.

WSU comes into the game with a record of 1-1. They defeated Missouri Western 70-57 in their first game of the season, but then fell to Northwest Missouri State 76-58.

The Wildcats are led by sophomore guard Kendall Jacks, who is averaging 15.1 points a game and shooting 57 percent from the field.

Tellinghuisen leads the Jacks in scoring, averaging 12.5 points a game, but is shooting only 31 percent from the field. Redshirt sophomore Mike Daum is not far behind, averaging 11.5 points a game and shooting 25 percent from the field.

The Jacks come into the game with a 29 home-game winning streak — third longest in the NCAA. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Frost Arena.