FORT MYERS, Fla. -- South Dakota State men's basketball saw its three-game winning streak come to an end Friday night against Florida Gulf Coast, falling 84-78 at Alico Arena in front of 3,725 fans.
David Jenkins led all scorers with 29 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Mike Daum added 18 points and finished with six rebounds, while Skyler Flatten rounded out the double-figure scorers with 13 tallies, five rebounds and a pair of assists.
"I thought our guys were very intentional with what we needed to do on both sides of the ball and thought we got off to a great start," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "We fought foul trouble all night, we need to defend a little smarter, and that was the story of the game. We'll get back to the practice floor, tighten up some things defensively and before you know it, Monday will get here quickly."
The Jackrabbits (3-1) battled foul trouble in an offensive shootout, as SDSU finished 29-for-58 (50 percent) from the field with eight 3-pointers and FGCU (2-2) shot 48.5 percent.
Daum, Jenkins and Tevin King fouled out in the contest as SDSU was whistled for 25 fouls as a team, setting the stage for 13 Jackrabbits to see the court, with seven playing 20 or more minutes.
"I think for our young guys to be in those tight spots late was a positive," Otzelberger said. "It's a growing opportunity for them. We believe in those guys and believe they'll be better in the long run because of this."
SDSU won the early rounds of a back-and-forth affair, building a double-digit (26-13) lead near the 10-minute mark of the first after a 13-1 Jackrabbit rally. FGCU did not quit, however, and cut the South Dakota State lead to seven, 37-30, at the break.
The Jackrabbits were dealt a blow coming out of the locker room as FGCU went on a 15-3 run to open the second half, going up 45-40 on the Jacks with 16:03 to play. State responded with a 6-0 burst of its own (including four points from Flatten), setting the stage for a seesaw finish that had 12 lead changes the rest of the way.
All even at 66 with 4:30 left, the Jacks built a three-point cushion (72-69) after a Daum 3-pointer and old-fashioned 3-point play, but the Eagles scored the next nine straight to take the lead for good.
Down six with 45 seconds to go, SDSU capitalized on poor free throw shooting from the Eagles and clutch shooting on the offensive end to draw back within one (79-78) with 18.8 seconds on the clock, but FGCU held off the fast-charging Jackrabbits for the win.
• South Dakota State is 1-2 all-time against Florida Gulf Coast
• Mike Daum is 44 points away from Nate Wolters' school record of 2,363 career points. Daum is tied for 134th on the NCAA's all-time scoring chart with 2,319 points.
• Daum has now scored 10 or more points in 100 career games.
• David Jenkins finished two shy of his career-high (31), passing the 20-point mark for the 14th time in his career.
• From 15:46 to 00:45 of the second half, neither team led by more than three points.
South Dakota State continues its stay in the Sunshine State with a three-game showing at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Florida. The Jackrabbits play Tulane on Monday at 10 a.m. CT in the first round of the tournament.