OMAHA, Neb. -- South Dakota State men's basketball came out on the short end of a seesaw Summit League opener, falling 81-78 to Omaha Sunday in a contest that included 17 lead changes.
Noah Freidel poured in a career-high 28 points with six 3-pointers on the afternoon, leading a Jackrabbit attack that shot 50.8 percent from the field.
Alex Arians and Douglas Wilson each hit 6-of-10 from the field and finished with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Arians added a team-best seven rebounds, while Wilson led the way with a career-high four assists.
Matt Dentlinger tallied six boards and seven points in the post as one of four Jackrabbits to record a block.
SDSU and Omaha traded buckets early with six lead changes through the opening 10 minutes. Freidel's 3-pointer near the 12-minute mark flipped the script to give State an 18-16 lead, and three minutes later Arians' wide-open 3-pointer forced a Maverick timeout at the close of a 7-0 run.
The Jacks, who scorched the net at 63 percent in the opening frame, took a 29-21 lead on another Freidel trey at 5:52 and maintained control the rest of the half to carry a 42-36 lead into the locker room.
Omaha came out firing in the second, cutting the lead to one (47-46) before the under-16 break and going in front 50-48 on a JT Gibson jumper moments later. Freidel stopped a 10-1 Maverick rally with a 3-pointer at 13:51, and the teams settled into back-and-forth play the rest of the way.
Down 70-67 with under six to play, Baylor Scheierman followed a Friedel dunk with a corner 3 as part of a five-point Jackrabbit spurt, but saw the Mavericks answer and go in front for good on a Matt Pile layup at 1:48.
Arians' layup with 20 seconds left pulled the Jackrabbits within one (79-78), but after the Mavericks missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw, Omaha recovered with a block on the other end and sealed the victory with free throws at 1.9 seconds. SDSU looked to force overtime with a buzzer-beater, but the last-second shot fell off the rim.
South Dakota State is 58-35 all-time against Omaha and 23-19 in road games against the Mavericks.
The Jackrabbits swatted a season-high five shots on the defensive end, and offensively sank a season-best 11 3-pointers.
SDSU attempted a season-low nine free throws in the game, burying seven from the charity stripe.
The Jacks were plus-two in points in the paint and plus-five in second-chance buckets, but saw the Mavericks hang tough with a 17-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
South Dakota State returns to Frost Arena for a two-game homestand next week. The Jackrabbits host Oral Roberts Thursday at 8:15 p.m., followed by a 4:15 p.m. Saturday matchup against Western Illinois.