JACARE?, Brazil – The South Dakota State men's basketball team moved to 2-1 in their Brazilian tour with a hard-fought 86-73 win over Prefeitura de Jacareí, a team in the A2, or second-tier pro league in Brazil.
The Jackrabbits opened the game on a 13-2 run an led by as many as 21 points behind a balanced team effort in the first half before taking a 44-30 lead at halftime.
The hosts, however, did not go quietly, and made it a game in the second half.
"It was more than physical. I think the referees really let it go, and their team knew that," head coach Scott Nagy said. "It's pro basketball here, so it's a lot more physical than the college game in the U.S., and early in the second half we didn't respond, they kind of beat us up, but our kids didn't panic and pushed it back out."
Jacareí cut the Jackrabbit lead to as few as six points in the third quarter, but the Jacks regained their composure amidst a boisterous crowd and ran away with the win in the fourth quarter.
Jake Bittle led a trio of Jackrabbits in double figures with an unofficial total of 15 points, with both Deondre Parks and Cody Larson adding 11. Reed Tellinghuisen finished with eight points and Connor Devine five points in the win.
The Jackrabbits now get a few days off before returning to action on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro against another A1 team, this one called Botafogo.
The team heads north to Rio first thing on Thursday morning, with a tour of the Christ the Redeemer statue on the slate for Friday.
Courtesy: SDSU Ryan Sweeter