Men's college basketball: Jackrabbits split two games in Georgia


SAVANNAH, Ga. – The South Dakota State Jackrabbits split two games at the Hostillo Community Classic in Savannah, Ga. over the weekend defeating Valparaiso 61-50 on Friday and losing to James Madison 79-60 on Saturday.

• South Dakota State 61, Valparaiso 50

The Jackrabbits used a strong second half to earn a victory over the Beacons 61-50 in the first game of the tournament on Friday afternoon. SDSU and Valparaiso entered halftime tied at 23 before William Kyle III gave the Jackrabbits the lead on the first possession of the half.

Kyle’s bucket started an 8-2 run for SDSU and the Jackrabbits never looked back. Valparaiso chipped the lead down to one point on a jumper from Ben Krikke with 16:15 to go but a 10-2 run created some more breathing room and SDSU’s lead swelled to as many as 13 points before sealing the victory.

SDSU shot 41.2% from the field and was 6-17 from three. The Jacks had 37 rebounds and had 14 turnovers.

Kyle led the Jackrabbits with 17 points on the night and added six rebounds in the victory. Zeke Mayo had 11 points and 13 rebounds while Alex Arians added 10 points and three rebounds.

Valpo shot 36.7% from the field and was 6-26 from three. The Beacons had 32 rebounds and 13 turnovers. They had 10 steals as well.

Kobe King led Valparaiso with 18 points while Krikke had 12 points to go with nine rebounds. Maximus Nelson also had eight points and six rebounds in defeat.

• James Madison 79, South Dakota State 60

Turnovers were a big problem in Saturday’s game against James Madison as the Dukes forced 21 turnovers – including 14 steals – to hand the Jackrabbits a 79-60 loss.

The Jackrabbits went ahead 18-16 on a 3-pointer from Tanner Te Slaa with 11:03 in the first half but the Dukes answered by outscoring SDSU 21-9 to go into the locker room with a 37-29 halftime lead. James Madison also shot 50 percent from the floor and just over 42 percent from 3-point range to keep the Jackrabbits from threatening and left Savannah with the victory.

SDSU shot 42.3% from the field and were 8-25 from they. The Jacks went 8-11 at the free throw line and had 32 rebounds.

Mayo led SDSU with 16 points on the night while Kyle pitched in with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Charlie Easley had 11 points with a pair of 3-pointers in the defeat.

Former Jackrabbit Noah Freidel led the Dukes with 13 points while Alonzo Sule had 11 points and seven rebounds. Vado Morse, Mezie Offurum and Takal Molson all had 10 points each for James Madison while Justin Amadi had nine points and six rebounds.

The Dukes had 25 rebounds and went 9-15 at the free throw line. They had 46 points and scored 33 points off of the Jackrabbits turnovers.

The Jackrabbits are now 3-4 on the season after splitting this weekend’s games and will return to action when they travel to Kent State on Friday night.