SIOUX FALLS, SD -
With the SDSU men making the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history the expectations were through the roof this year. They answered the call and even with a disappointing loss, its safe to say they didn't disappoint.
When the clock struck zero in Auburn Hills Michigan on Thursday March 21st the scoreboard indicated the end of the Jackrabbits run in 2013. Not only did SDSU lose the game, but also two players in Nate Wolters and Tony Fiegen who over the past four years have paved the way for their program.
"They have and they've helped build it. Now it's our job to continue to build it and set the standard these guys have helped build. They're fine young men, they will do great when they leave here. I'm just so proud of them. It's hard to say goodbye to them, but it happens every year, then it's time to replace them with other good players," said SDSU Head Coach Scott Nagy.
The Jacks were in the game throughout, even leading for a majority of the first half. They went on an 11-0 run holding the Wolverines scoreless for six minutes. After being down just four points at halftime, everything began to fall for Michigan and nothing for SDSU as they shot just 44 percent from the field to the Wolverines 50.
"We did a really good job just staying with them, giving ourselves a chance. Coach Nagy told us in the huddle the longer we can keep it close the more pressure that goes on them. Obviously it didn't work out," said SDSU Junior Brayden Carlson.
"It was defiantly frustrating. Just not playing our best, or my best. We had open looks, we just couldn't knock them down," said Wolters.
Coach Nagy has found a winning formula for getting his team to the big dance. The next mountain to climb will be to advance with a win. The Rabbits are returning four juniors next season and with two tournament games under their belts, the future looks like bright blue for the boys from Brookings.
"I don't feel like I have anything to be ashamed of this year. I didn't make some shots, but you've got to bounce back and use this for fuel for next year," said SDSU Junior Jordan Dykstra.
The Jacks finished their season 25 and 10. Wolters is the third player in N-C double A history with 2 thousand points, 600 assists, and 600 rebounds. Also the first player to average 20 points, 5 boards, and 5 dimes in 2 separate seasons.
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