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Jackrabbits Get A Sweet 16 And Topple Lobos

South Dakota State Jackrabbits men's basketball
Robby Gallagher/South Dakota State University

Despite travel troubles, the South Dakota State University men’s basketball team bounced back from hitting sour notes in Nashville to pull the upset.  Nate Wolters scored 28 points and handed out seven assists, leading the Jackrabbits to a 70-65 upset of No. 16 New Mexico on Saturday.

The Jackrabbits had a 1,220-mile bus ride from their last game Wednesday in Nashville, Tennessee because of the weather. They didn’t arrive in Albuquerque until Friday evening.

Jordan Dykstra had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Jackrabbits, who went 10 for 11 from the line down the stretch to preserve their lead. Chad White added 13 points for SDSU and Brayden Carlson had 10. The Jackrabbits (10-4) led the final 37 minutes of the game after taking the lead with an early 8-0 run.

Wolters’ 3-pointer with 4:49 left in the first half gave South Dakota State its largest lead at 35-23. But the Lobos (12-1) closed the half with an 11-3 run to trail 38-34 entering the second half.

New Mexico never got closer than three points the rest of the way.  Kendall Williams, the team’s leading scorer for the season got 21 points to lead the Lobos.  Williams sat out the first 5:33 after he and fellow starter Chad Adams arrived late to The Pit.

The implications of this win are large in both the short and long term.  South Dakota State crosses the threshold of beating a nationally ranked team for the first time in ten tries.  Beating the Lobos also could pay dividends in the future if the Jacks can advance to the national tournament for a second consecutive season.  Summit League play is next for SDSU against North Dakota State in Fargo next Saturday December 29.

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