SDSU, USD basketball managers battle in the DakotaDome

NATE GIESE Assistant Sports Editor

We [The SDSU Student Managers] had been working on getting this game together for a while. This past weekend, we were finally able to get it done. The South Dakota State men’s basketball managers took on the South Dakota men’s basketball managers in a friendly game at the DakotaDome this past Friday night. 

A lot of the major conference schools have manager games the night before their team’s play. We, the SDSU men’s basketball managers, tried to set something up last year, but it just didn’t work out. This year, though, we were able to figure out the details and make it happen. USD’s managers sent the challenge to us through Twitter and it. Was. On.

On Friday, the day before the SDSU-USD showdown in the same place, the managers took part in their first game against each other in the DakotaDome. We were told that it’d be closed to the public but were greeted by an estimated 25 people rooting for the Coyote managers.

They may have had more people, but we had more heart. 

As you would expect from a group of guys that have never practiced together, some not bothering to keep in much shape (me, no shame) and a small window of opportunity, the game was awkward a majority of the time and tiring for all of it.

It was a four five-minute quarters game. Twenty minutes of game action with one media timeout per quarter. There weren’t enough timeouts, I can tell you that much.

I should’ve only played five seconds, because that was the plan. I ended playing about eight minutes while sophomores Cason Heier and Cody Reed and junior Jacob Johnson played the full 20 minutes. Freshman Sawyer Schmitz and junior Michael Merry played most of the game but sat out some as well.

A lot of three-pointers were shot. Points in the paint were minimal during the game. We took a 16-14 lead into halftime but started to pull away with an 11-6 advantage in the third quarter led by Heier’s personal 5-0 run and Reed’s three at the buzzer to take a 27-20 lead into the final frame.

After that, it was defense and another three from Reed in the final minute of the game that gave us the 32-24 win, making SDSU 2-0 against USD on the weekend, which is always great to say.

For our efforts, we were rewarded in a No. 30 ranking in the national college managers team rankings, many fist bumps of congratulations and a specially-made stool, complete with both schools’ logos, which will be awarded to the winner of each game of the series.

We weren’t really sure what to expect going into the game, but we were all glad we did it. It was a fun way to kick off the weekend in what was going to be an intense setting the next day. We got to know some guys we otherwise wouldn’t have known, we got a trophy and it’s a great way to stay in shape.

The rematch is tentatively set for Feb. 12, the day before the SDSU-USD rematch in Frost Arena. Until then, we’ll enjoy the glory, but we also have some team laundry to do, so we don’t have much time to gloat.