Wildcat men hang with South Dakota State in 80-72 loss


South Dakota State needed to rally in the second half, outscoring Wayne State 47-35, as the Jackrabbits fought off Wayne State College 80-72 Wednesday evening in exhibition men’s college basketball played at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D.

Wayne State never trailed in the first half against the Jackrabbits where South Dakota State is 63-3 at home over the last five seasons, as the Wildcats used 55 percent shooting (15-of-27) including 7-of-14 from 3-point range as Wayne State led 37-33 at intermission.

The Wildcats built a 30-18 lead following a Vance Janssen jumper with 6:37 to play in the first half. After SDSU scored the next eight points to pull within four at 30-26, Wayne State used a Ben Hoskins 3-pointer to go in front by seven (33-26) before finishing the first half with a 37-33 lead.

SDSU took their first lead early in the second half on a Reed Tellinghuisen 3-pointer for a 38-37 lead with 18:14 to play in the game.

Wayne State battled with the Jackrabbits and took their final lead of the game at 53-52 on a Jordan Cornelius 3-pointer with 9:52 to play. The Jacks took the lead for good with a 9-0 run over the next 1:13 to go ahead 61-53 with 8:39 remaining. Wayne State got as close as five at 63-58 on a Matt Thomas 3-pointer with 6:37 to play, but SDSU never let the Wildcats get any closer and finished with an 80-72 win.

Wayne State finished the game making 28 of 60 shots from the field for 46.7 percent. The Wildcats were 13 for 26 behind the 3-point line and made all three of its free throws.

Juniors Matt Thomas and Jordan Cornelius led a balanced Wildcat scoring attack with 17 points each followed by Austin Esters with 14.

South Dakota State was 23 of 54 shooting for 42.6 percent, including 6 of 25 from 3-point range (24 percent). The Jacks were 28 of 33 at the free throw line.

Mike Daum led SDSU with 24 points followed by Skyler Flatten with 15 points.

SDSU held a commanding 41-24 advantage in rebounding over Wayne State thanks to 12 boards from Daum while Esters and Cornelius led Wayne State on the glass with four apiece.

Wayne State had just 12 turnovers in the game to 13 on SDSU. The Wildcats handed out 16 assists in the contest with sophomore guard Vance Janssen credited with a game-high five and Kendall Jacks with four.

Wayne State (1-1) returns to regular season play on Monday opening the Northern Sun Conference schedule at 18th-ranked Augustana for an 8 p.m. contest in Sioux Falls, S.D.