SDSU drops Denver to win fourth straight
Jackrabbits pull away for 76-61 victory
BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota State men’s basketball team improved its win streak to four games as the Jackrabbits defeated Denver, 76-61, in Frost Arena in a tightly contested Summit League matchup on Saturday.
SDSU was paced in the early going by Zeke Mayo as he scored the squad’s first six points. His assist later on a full-court pass to Matthew Mors, who finished off a layup, put the Jacks up 26-16 with just under seven minutes left in the first half.
Denver trimmed away at the Jackrabbit margin quickly and eventually took a 30-28 lead with 2:22 on the clock. The two sides traded baskets before a Mayo 3-pointer put SDSU ahead 37-34 at the halftime break. Mayo scored 23 points and already had a career-high seven 3-pointers at the intermission.
The contest saw 14 lead changes and seven tie scores as the action carried into the second half. The Pioneers came out of the break by scoring the first six points to go up by three, but Denver could never increase its advantage past that point.
The Jackrabbits tied the score at 52 with less than 10 minutes remaining on a William Kyle III dunk, then a Matt Mims 3-pointer and Matt Dentlinger layup propelled SDSU up 57-52 as part of a seven-point scoring run just over two minutes later.
Denver trailed by six when Mayo was rolled up on by a Pioneer player on a loose ball forcing the game’s leading scorer out of the game due to injury. However, SDSU outscored Denver 13-4 over the last five minutes of the matchup to close out a Jackrabbit victory in front of a frenzied SDSU crowd.
South Dakota State is now 11-9 overall and 6-2 in Summit League play after the victory. Denver fell to 12-10 (3-6).
- Mayo ended the day with 25 points on 8-for-16 shooting (7 of 14 from 3). He also had a team-high five rebounds and four assists.
- Mims topped his season high scoring by notching 14 points. He kept Denver’s leading scorer coming into the game – Tommy Bruner – in check as the Pioneer guard finished with 11 points on 3 of 10 from the field while committing four turnovers.
- Kyle III registered a career-high 19 points which included a 7-for-9 clip at the free throw line. He also had four rebounds and two blocks. Alex Arians had four rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Jacks. Dentlinger scored 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting.
- SDSU outshot Denver 49.1-44.6% from the floor and forced 14 Pioneer turnovers. Denver had two 14-point scorers in Touko Tainamo and Lukas Kisunas, while each had eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
South Dakota State heads out on to the road for its next three games. The Jackrabbits will travel first to St. Paul on Thursday, Jan. 26, to face St. Thomas.
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