SDSU men's basketball completes 23-point second-half comeback to top Eastern Washington
SDSU outscored the Eagles 31-7 over the game's final 8:36.
BROOKINGS — The South Dakota State men's basketball team completed a comeback, trailing by 23 points with less than nine minutes to play, and ended up claiming a 77-76 victory over Eastern Washington in Frost Arena on Saturday.
The Jackrabbits (4-7) rally began following a 3-pointer by the Eagles' Ethan Price that put EWU up 69-46 with 8:51 remaining in the contest. The ensuing possession saw Matt Mims go to the line for two free throws with 8:36 left.
That got SDSU going, as the Jacks went on a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to 71-60 as the clock winded down to under five minutes. Eastern Washington (4-6) hit a 3-pointer to end that run, but SDSU came right back with a 3-pointer from Zeke Mayo on the next possession that began a stretch of eight straight Jackrabbit points to trim the Eagle advantage to single digits.
An EWU field goal put the Eagles ahead 76-68 with 1:30 remaining. The Jackrabbits responded with the final nine points of the night.
William Kyle III made two free throws for the Jackrabbits to make it a 76-70 margin 10 seconds later. The Jackrabbits forced a turnover and Mims responded with a 3-pointer to make it a 76-73 game with 57 seconds on the clock. Broden Lien forced a missed layup by EWU's Casey Jones which, in turn, led to a coast-to-coast layup for Alex Arians, making it a 76-75 contest with 22 seconds left. Two fouls by SDSU eventually sent Jones to the free throw line, where he missed the first of a 1-and-1 opportunity giving the Jacks the ball with 18 seconds remaining.
Mayo then dribbled his way into the paint. From just inside the right side of the free throw line, he was met with contact by an EWU defender as he sent a shot toward the basket as the clock winded down. His attempt banked off the glass and fell through the net, propelling the Jackrabbits ahead 77-76, and giving SDSU's first lead since the opening two minutes of the contest.
Eastern Washington used its final timeout to draw up a last play with 2.2 seconds remaining. The Eagles' 3-point attempt by Price sailed wide of the basket, capping a 23-point comeback win for the Jackrabbits.
SDSU outscored the Eagles 31-7 over the game's final 8:36. Zeke Mayo scored a career-high 30 points with 17 coming in the second half, as SDSU snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Jackrabbits' next game comes at home against Mount Marty on Monday, Dec. 12.