ESTERO, Fla. - The Jackrabbit men's basketball program claimed the Gulf Coast Showcase consolation championship Wednesday, shaking off a slow start on its way to a 78-65 victory over Colorado State.
David Jenkins led South Dakota State with a career-high 32 points, hitting 13-of-23 from the field to go alongside seven rebounds and three assists.
Ryan Krueger, who entered the game with only three career points, hit his first four 3-point attempts and finished with 16 in the win.
Mike Daum (11 points) and Skyler Flatten (10 points) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Jackrabbits, while Tevin King just missed a double-double with nine points and a team-best nine rebounds.
The Jackrabbits, now 5-2 on the year, buried 11-of-22 from deep in the win and were 46.8 percent from the field while holding the Rams to just eight 3-pointers (out of 36 attempts) and a 36 percent effort overall.
"I thought we got back yesterday to who we are defensively and today that stuck out to me again," head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. "Our guys really guarded well, and that's why we won. This week has been great for us, and I think our young guys getting minutes in some key games will be big for us. I feel really good about our group moving forward."
South Dakota State missed its first six shots of the afternoon to fall behind, 8-0, but fought through the cold start to hit five of its next seven from the field and take a 14-12 lead at 11:57, closing a 14-4 run and forcing a CSU timeout on a Flatten 3-pointer.
Play evened momentarily as the teams traded buckets, though a series of three-consecutive treys from Krueger gave the Jackrabbits a 25-22 lead at the under-eight media timeout.
Colorado State hit a 3-pointer on its next possession to tie it once more, but SDSU continued to press and outscored the Rams by 16 the rest of the half to carry a 48-32 lead into the locker room.
All told, the Jacks went on a 19-4 run over the final four minutes of the frame that began with 14 unanswered for SDSU and ended with the Jacks hitting seven-straight field goals.
South Dakota State maintained a double-digit throughout the final 20 minutes, never allowing a serious threat to materialize despite seeing the Rams close the gap to 10 (70-60) with under five minutes to play.
With Colorado State nearly back within striking distance at that point, Jenkins buried his third and final trey of the game, Daum followed with one of his one to reach double figures for the 103rd time in his career, and the Jacks rode out the clock towards a fifth-place finish at the three-day tournament.
• South Dakota State is now 2-0 all-time against Colorado State.
• Mike Daum entered today's game 98th on the NCAA's career scoring list. He moved into a tie for 93rd and now has 2,399 career points.
• David Jenkins hit his 100th career 3-pointer late in the first half. He has gone over 30 points five times in his career.
South Dakota State is off over the Thanksgiving holiday and returns to the court Wednesday, Nov. 28 against Kansas City. Tipoff from Frost Arena is set for 7 p.m.