SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Top-seeded South Dakota State saw its comeback efforts fall just short Saturday at the Summit League Championships, falling 79-76 to No. 8 seed Western Illinois at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Down 38-28 at half, the Jackrabbits traded buckets with the Leathernecks throughout the second half until a 5-0 spurt with just over two minutes left brought them within six (72-66).
David Jenkins hit a deep second-chance 3-pointer with 14 seconds to cut the WIU lead to one, 77-76, but that was as close as SDSU came as the Leathernecks used free throws and got one final defensive stop to escape with the upset.
The Jacks overcame a slow start to finish 46.6 percent from the field, but finished just 5-of-20 from deep and 17-of-26 at the line. The Leathernecks shot 46 percent as a team as well and had seven 3-pointers while going 14-of-25 from the charity stripe.
Jenkins finished with a team-high 29 points, scoring 24 in the final period, including 14 in the final four minutes, to lead the second-half surge.
Mike Daum tacked on 16 for the Jackrabbits and pulled down 11 boards for his 53rd career double-double.
Tevin King finished with 19 points and eight rebounds to go with two blocks and a pair of crucial steals late in the game, serving as a catalyst to the Jackrabbit attack throughout the night.
• South Dakota State is 26-5 all-time against Western Illinois.
• The Jackrabbits are 20-6 all-time at the Summit League Championships and 8-2 as the No. 1 seed.
• David Jenkins rose to No. 26 on SDSU's all-time scoring chart with 1,075 career points.
• At least three Jackrabbits scored in double figures in 31 of 32 games this year.
• Mike Daum's 16 points gives him 3,042 for his career, ninth all-time in NCAA history
The Jackrabbits' Summit League Championships run comes to an end, but as the regular season league champions SDSU earned an automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The NIT's bracket will be released Sunday, March 17 after the NCAA Selection Show.