The Jackrabbit men’s basketball team staged a brilliant comeback, but saw its 2018-19 season come to an end Tuesday in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, falling 79-73 to Texas at the Frank Erwin Center.
South Dakota State concludes the year at 24-9, reaching the 20-win plateau for the 25th time as a program while saying goodbye to three seniors: Mike Daum, Skyler Flatten and Tevin King.
The first half was full of momentum swings, as the Longhorns started fast towards a 19-0 lead while scoring on seven of their first eight possessions. Skyler Flatten ended SDSU’s drought with a drive to the basket and a 3-pointer around the 15-minute mark, starting a long climb back for the Jackrabbits.
The teams traded baskets until 8:24, when an Alex Arians layup sparked SDSU on a 12-0 burst that pulled State within three (31-28) over the next three minutes. Arians scored the first seven points of the run, which was part of a larger five-minute span that Texas went scoreless.
The Longhorns recovered their edge down the stretch, pushing the lead to double figures briefly once more, but State used a Daum bucket inside the final minute to send the Jackrabbits to the locker room, down 43-35.
Texas again started fast in the second, building a 13-point lead early, but the Jackrabbits kept coming. SDSU crawled within two (59-57) at 13:01, and a Jenkins jumper at 8:32 put them in front, 65-64 before a two-handed, breakaway slam moments later gave State a 67-64 advantage.
UT answered with six straight to go back in front, and though SDSU kept it a one-possession game until the final minute of action, the Jackrabbits could not complete the rally.
Daum led the Jackrabbits with 25 points and 11 rebounds for his 55th career double-double, rising to No. 7 on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list in the game. He concludes his career with 3,067 points.
Flatten added 14 points with a team-high five assists, and Tevin King pulled down five boards while coming up with two steals.
David Jenkins scored 19 behind a trio of 3-pointers, and Alex Arians tallied seven boards, seven points and three assists.
Texas’ Dylan Osetkowski led all scorers with 26 points as one of three Longhorns in double figures.
- This is the first-ever meeting between South Dakota State and Texas.
- The Jackrabbits are 1-2 all-time in the National Invitational Tournament.
- David Jenkins is No. 25 on SDSU’s career scoring list with 1,194 points. He passed John Thomas (1966-69; 1,178) early in the first half.
- At least three Jackrabbits scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games this year.