Jackrabbits falter in final minutes, fall to 0-2 after road trip

SDSU men’s basketball will start their season 0-2 after dropping road games in the final minute to the University of Buffalo and the University of Idaho.

Cody Larson gave the Jackrabbits 15 points and 15 rebounds in Friday’s game against Buffalo. Zach Horstman also earned a double-double in the game, scoring 13 and pulling down 12 rebounds.

After losing a halftime lead to trail for most of the second half, the Jackrabbits took a 66-65 lead with just over a minute left, but four of the last five would go to Buffalo as SDSU turned it over twice in the final minute on route to a 69-67 loss.

Monday’s game at Idaho followed much the same story line as the Jacks lost a lead late in the game.

Even so, the second half was by far the better half as SDSU started slow, trailing by as many as 13 before rallying to a more manageable five-point halftime deficit.

“I was proud of our guys in the second half,” said head coach Scott Nagy. “That’s two games in a row where we’ve had the lead in the second half and relinquished it, but this game for us was lost in the first half. We just had no life to us and we got killed on the glass. … We were very, very fortunate to only be down five points at half.”

After allowing the Vandals to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half, the Jackrabbit defensive refocused, holding Idaho to just 37.5 percent from the field in the second half.

“My team fought, and that’s all that you can ask for,” said point guard Deondre Parks.

SDSU led by as many as six points with under six minutes to play, but Idaho battled back with a 19-8 run in the final minutes, taking the lead for good on a Perrion Callandret three-pointer with 56 seconds to play.

“Probably the play of the game was them missing a free throw and then we didn’t block the shooter out and he gets the rebound,” Nagy said. “It’s details like that and inexperienced guys on the floor … that can change games.”

Parks rebounded from a six-point, five-turnover performance against Buffalo to score 18 against the Vandals. Parks also had seven rebounds.

“I said after the Buffalo game, he won’t play as poorly as he did I don’t think ever,” Nagy said. “He played very well [against Idaho].”

Jake Bittle also scored 18 while Larson quietly put up his second double-double in as many games this year, scoring 14 and rebounding 10.

Skyler Flatten gave the Jacks 13 points off the bench.

SDSU will return to Frost Arena on Friday, Nov. 21 to host UND at 7 p.m.