BOISE, IDAHO (SDSU) — The South Dakota State men’s basketball team looked like it was heading towards a second consecutive overtime contest in just its second game of the 2022-23 season late in its matchup Wednesday versus Boise State. Two nights after a season-opening overtime defeat, SDSU senior Matt Dentlinger provided a game-winning layup with one second remaining and the Jackrabbits earned a 68-66 victory over the Broncos at ExtraMile Arena. 
South Dakota State led for nearly the entire first half and was up by as many as 13 in the second half over host Boise State. Just like SDSU’s opener against a reigning conference champion in Akron on Monday, the 2022 Mountain West champion Broncos battled back Wednesday evening. 
Spurred by a crowd of nearly 10,000, the Broncos whittled away at the Jackrabbit lead and with just under 11 minutes remaining in the contest, tied the score at 55. Boise State took its first lead of the night at the 8:43 mark on a Marcus Shaver Jr. layup. However, SDSU traded baskets over the six minutes of play and tied the score at 66 with 2:50 left on a pair of Zeke Mayo free throws. 
The two sides went on a two-minute dry spell offensively and the Broncos held possession with 39 seconds to go. Following a timeout, Boise State’s Shaver Jr. drove through the lane and drew a foul with 23 seconds on the clock. 
BSU’s senior guard went to the charity stripe for two free throws, the Broncos’ only two attempts in the second half, and missed his first opportunity. SDSU head coach Eric Henderson called timeout before the second attempt and when both teams returned to the hardwood, Shaver Jr. missed the second shot. 
The Jackrabbits had a chance for the final possession for the second consecutive game. This time SDSU capitalized. 
Mayo found Alex Arians on the left wing outside the 3-point line with six seconds remaining. Arians cut into the lane and floated a pass into Dentlinger. SDSU’s senior forward utilized a lefty layup over his right shoulder and went off glass to give the Jacks the 68-66 edge with 1.3 seconds on the clock. 
Boise State had an opportunity to discuss a final shot while the time was reviewed after Dentlinger’s layup, but the Broncos’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer by Max Rice sailed wide of the basket, closing out a road victory for the Jackrabbits.  
“We thought if one guy sticks with Zeke he’d take it, or if two people come to him, get it to Alex,” Henderson described the game-winning play breaking down. “Alex made a terrific play and he recognized the defense and didn’t settle. Matt made a great shot. 
“It was nice to see us be able finish this game and take the next step. To learn and grow in a win like this, the reward was a little better tonight.”
The Jackrabbits outshot the Broncos in the home side’s season opener by a 50-35% margin in the first half. Boise State stuck with SDSU throughout the matchup as the Jacks committed 19 turnovers to the Broncos’ 14. BSU worked its way back into the game shooting 57.1% in the second half. Boise State led for only two minutes though and SDSU never trailed by more than two points the entire contest. 
“I’m really proud of our team here early in the year being able to compete at such a high level,” Henderson said. “We’re certainly making a lot of mistakes, but our compete level is really high and we’re connecting well as a team so far. 
“For our team to battle the way we have, we certainly needed a win, but to come here and get a win and compete the way we did is something I’m really proud of the guys for.” 
Dentlinger paced the Jackrabbits in the score column with 19 points on 7 of 11 from the field. He also had four steals. Dentlinger was joined in scoring double digits by Mayo (13), Arians (11) and William Kyle III (11). Arians had a team-high six assists and six rebounds. Kyle III had two blocks for SDSU. The Jackrabbits held the Broncos to just four 3-pointers which would have been Boise State’s second lowest total a season ago. Boise State’s Rice was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points. 
Up Next
South Dakota State returns to South Dakota and will play in its home state on Tuesday. The Jackrabbits are slated to travel down to Sioux Falls to face St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m. in the Sanford Pentagon.