Jackrabbits open Crossover Classic with big victory

Andrew Holtan/Register: South Dakota State’s Baylor Scheierman puts up a shot during the second half of the Jackrabbits’ 102-75 win over Nevada in the first game of the 2021 Crossover Classic at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.

SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota State men’s basketball team put on a show in its first game in the Crossover Classic at the Sanford Pentagon on Monday night. The Jackrabbits shot 58.7% from the field and were 17-33 from three as they defeated Nevada 102-75.

“Really, really proud of our guys’ effort,” said SDSU head coach Eric Henderson. “I thought we were terrific certainly to start the game and everyone looks at the shooting and that helps and gets everybody fired up. But I thought defensively our energy, our commitment to our game plan, our guys buying in and the combination of our shooting was a terrific start for us.”

Noah Freidel hit three-straight 3-pointers to start the game and the Jacks were off and running. They led 25-7 with 12:48 to go in the first half and took a 51-31 lead into the locker room. 

SDSU led by more than 20 points for most of the second half. The closest Nevada got was 76-61 with 9:32 left in the game, but the Jacks went on a 9-2 run to push the lead back over 20.

Douglas Wilson led the Jacks with 24 points. Last time SDSU played in the Pentagon it fell in the Summit League Tournament semifinals to Oral Roberts on a buzzer beater in March. No fans were at that game and Wilson said it was fun to have fans in the building on Monday night.

“It was really fun to play here and have some fans come out and support us. It was amazing. Just to get back on this floor, the last time we were on this floor it didn’t end well for us. To come back in here and do what we did, it feels good,” Wilson said.

Freidel had 21 points and four rebounds. He sat out the final seven games of last year to work on his mental health and so far this season he is leading the team in scoring, averaging 19.5 points per game.

“Noah, obviously he’s a terrific scorer and he’s always had that,” Henderson said. “He’s always enjoyed the big moment. What I’ve always enjoyed about Noah is his approach to every single game. His approach to the defensive end. His mentality to want to guard the other team’s best player. He wants that now and that’s something that hasn’t always been [there] with Noah. So I’m just really, really proud of his overall approach and his commitment to playing hard on every possession on both sides of the floor.”

Baylor Scheierman had double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Charlie Easley and Zeke Mayo each had 10 points. Easley had seven rebounds and Mayo had six. Matt Dentlinger had seven points and Matt Mims had six.

This was the third-straight game that SDSU scored over 90 points. For the season the Jacks are averaging 90.7 points per game, but Henderson said it’s not always going to be like this.

“It’s so early in the season,” Henderson said. “We played really good tonight. I mean we were terrific. The only thing you can say is that we had 15 turnovers in the first half. That wasn’t very good, but we still scored 51. We shot it at a high percentage, we had 25 assists. 

“[But] those shots aren’t always going to be falling, so we need to stay true to our identity. We have a lot of different ways we can score and we have willing passers. So I know it’s not always going to be easy as tonight, but I do believe in our identity and I do believe in our guys’ willingness to share the basketball and that when they don’t have it going, they have plenty of [other] dudes that can.”

Nevada shot 39.7% from the field and was 7-22 from three. Warren Washington led the Wolfpack with 20 points and six rebounds. Desmond Cambridge Jr. had 17 points and Will Baker had 12.

Nevada head coach Steve Alford had nothing but praise for the Jacks after the game.

“I got a lot of respect for [SDSU]. They are really good and I told coach [Henderson] that after the game. … This a team that we just played that is by far the best team we’ve played to date. They made us look bad and that’s always the sign of a really good team,” Alford said.

This was the first of three games for the Jacks at the Crossover Classic. SDSU will take on Washington tonight and George Mason on Wednesday. Each game is at 8:30 p.m. and you can watch them on ESPN+.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 102, NEVADA 75

South Dakota State (5-1)

Douglas Wilson 9-11 6-8 24, Noah Freidel 7-14 2-5 21, Baylor Scheierman 6-12 2-2 18, Charlie Easley 4-6 0-0 10, Zeke Mayo 4-8 0-0 10, Matt Dentlinger 3-4 1-2 7, Matt Mims 2-5 0-0 6, Jaylon Gentry 1-1 0-0 3, David Wingett 1-1 0-0 3, Luke Appel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 37-63 11-17 102.

Nevada (1-4)

Warren Washington 8-13 4-7 20, Desmond Cambridge Jr. 6-12 3-3 17, Will Baker 3-6 4-4 12, Gran Sherfield 4-12 0-0 9, Tre Coleman 2-6 1-1 6, Kenan Blackshear 2-7 1-2 6, AJ Bramah 2-6 0-0 4, Jalen Weaver 0-2 1-2 1, Alem Huseinovic 0-2 0-0 0, DeAndre Henry 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-68 14-19 75.

SDSU 51 51 – 102

Nevada 31 44 – 75

3-point field goals – SDSU 17-33 (Gentry 1-1, Wingett 1-1, Easley 2-3, Freidel 5-10, Scheierman 4-8, Mayo 2-5, Mims 2-5), NEV 7-22 Baker 2-3, Blackshear 1-2, Cambridge 2-6, Sherfield 1-3, Coleman 1-4, Bramah 0-1, Huseinovic 0-1, Henry 0-1). Rebounds – SDSU 42 (Scheierman 10), NEV 28 (Washington 6). Assists – SDSU 25 (Alex Arians 6), NEV 16 (Sherfield 5). Steals – SDSU 5 (Scheierman, Mayo 2), NEV 8 (Washington, Baker 2). Blocks – SDSU 2 (Freidel, Appel), NEV 3 (Washington, Cambridge, Coleman). Turnovers – SDSU 18, NEV 13. Total fouls – SDSU 21, NEV 17. Fouled out – Dentlinger. Technical fouls – none. A – 1,643.

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