SAO PAULO – The South Dakota State men's basketball team arrived in Brazil early Monday morning, six hours later, the Jackrabbits tipped off in their first of four games on the trip, but the long journey and too many turnovers proved costly in an 84-63 loss to Pinheiros.
"I'm not going to use the travel as an excuse, we just turned the basketball over way too many times," head coach Scott Nagy said. "This is probably the best team we'll play all season, and I don't mean just in Brazil, this is a team of men, and we just played like boys tonight."
The host team, which plays in the top professional league in Brazil, jumped out to an early 12 point lead, but a 3-pointer from Jake Bittle, followed by a stop and a layup from Cody Larson put the Jacks up 27-26 midway through the second quarter.
Pinheiros answered with a 12-0 run and never looked back in cruising to the win.
The hosts did not keep stats or wear numbers on their jerseys, but unofficially, Bittle led the Jacks with 15 points, Larson and Deondre Parks both added 11, with true freshman Reed Tellinghuisen pitching in with eight points.
The Jacks play their second of four games on the Brazil tour on Tuesday against Club de Regatas Campineiro at 4 p.m. CT.
Courtesy: SDSU Ryan Sweeter