ESTERO, Fla. - South Dakota State saw a stirring comeback effort fall short Monday in the opening round of the Gulf Coast Showcase, dropping an 84-80 contest against Tulane.
The Jackrabbits, now 3-2 on the season, overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to take a two-point lead inside the final minute, only to have Tulane (2-1) score the final six points and escape with the win.
"I thought our guys showed great compete," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "I think ultimately there were a lot of big plays throughout and with some of the young guys, they made some key shots for us. Tevin (King) had big moments, DJ (David Jenkins) came on late and Mike (Daum) hit throughout the game.
"Defensively we improved as the game went on, but we got to the point where we had some silly defensive plays late in the game and it cost us. We didn't play things how we wanted and paid for it. We've got to find a way to come out with a win there."
The Jackrabbits traded buckets with Tulane through the first four minutes of the game but were forced to call a timeout at 14:52 after Tulane hit four of its first five 3-pointers for a 16-10 lead.
SDSU roared out of the break to score the game's next 17 points, building a 27-16 lead over the next four minutes. The Green Wave responded, however, and crawled back to take a 38-37 lead at 4:17.
A Ryan Krueger 3-pointer on the next possession provided a quick answer to Tulane's rally, and set the stage for another round of seesaw blows that brought the teams to their locker rooms tied at 47-all.
As hot as the Jacks were from deep in the opening frame, SDSU found itself on the other end of the spectrum early in the second as Tulane built a 68-58 lead before the under-12 media.
Down 10 at that point, South Dakota State climbed back to within three (68-65) after a burst of seven unanswered, holding Tulane scoreless from 11:46 to 6:41.
The Jackrabbits made it a two-point game (72-70) near the five-minute mark, and after trading buckets with the Green Wave saw David Jenkins and Mike Daum bury 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to push State ahead, 79-78 with 1:24 on the clock.
A Jenkins free throw made it 80-78 with 30 seconds remaining, but Tulane used an old-fashioned 3-point play and three more free throws down the stretch to survive.
Daum led all scorers with 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers to go alongside 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Jenkins finished with 23 points, scoring 16 in the second half with a 7-for-10 effort from the charity stripe.
Skyler Flatten tallied 10 points in the game and Tevin King just missed a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds, scoring nine points and a dishing team-high five assists.
Tulane had four in double figures, led by Caleb Daniels' 24 points.
SDSU shot 45 percent as a team and buried a season-high 14 3-pointers.
• South Dakota State is 0-1 all-time against Tulane.
• Mike Daum is 17 points shy of breaking Nate Wolters' school record of 2,363 career points. He is now 115th on the NCAA's all-time scoring chart with 2,347 career points after entering the game tied for 134th.
• South Dakota State has had two 20-point scorers in a game twice this season.
• David Jenkins now has 670 career points and is on pace to join the 1,000-point club later this season. He hs scored 20 or more 16 times in a Jackrabbit uniform and has reached double figures in 32 of 40 career appearances.
• Tevin King dished out career assist No. 200 in the game.
South Dakota State will face the loser of UTSA/UC Irvine Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. CT. The Roadrunners and Anteaters play Monday at 12:30 p.m. Stay tuned to GoJacks.com and follow @GoJacksMBB on Twitter for updates.