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SDSU Men Fall Short, Lose 64-60 to IPFW

The South Dakota State men were hoping to make their third straight Summit League Championship game, but Indiana University-Purdue Fort Wayne stood in the way, winning 64-60. 

From the opening tip to the final buzzer, the Jackrabbits and Mastodons played a physical, and defensive game.

In the first half, SDSU’s Brayden Carlson, and Jake Biddle were splitting defenders, and finding their way to the basket. On the opposite side, IPFW’s Steve Forbes was pushing the Jacks around in post, and Mo Evans was lethal from long-range.

With about seven minutes left in the half, IPFW was frustrating SDSU on offense, deflecting the Jackrabbits passes. The Mastodons built a ten-point lead, 25-15, on a three-pointer from Evans. But the Jackrabbits came back, as Carlson hit Jordan Dykstra in transition off a steal, and then Dykstra passed it back to Carlson, who laid it in for two in a beautiful sequence to make it 25-18.

However, Evans and Forbes started to bother SDSU, again. Forbes was big inside, and Evans hit yet, another three-pointer to go up 28-20.

At halftime, IPFW led 30-24, but a jumper at the buzzer by Dykstra provided a possible momentum booster for the Jackrabbits because two minutes into the second half, SDSU goes on a 13-0 run to regain the lead.

Again, though, IPFW stormed back. The Mastodons went back up 42-38 on the Jackrabbits with 13:14 to go in the game. The physicality of the game was looking like it was taking a toll on SDSU.

IPFW built their lead up to 50-43, after a pair of turnovers by the Jackrabbits. SDSU cut back into the lead with 5:29 left, down 52-49, as Forbes was huge again. The big man down low was muscling his way in the paint for the Mastodons.

In the closing minutes, Dykstra hit a basket with 27.9 seconds left to cut the deficit to 63-60. SDSU fouled, and IPFW missed the front-end of a one and one. On the next possession, Carlson shook off a defender, but missed a wide-open trey that would have tied the game.

SDSU had to foul again, and the Mastodons hit one to go up 64-60. Dykstra missed a three as time expired, and IPFW defeated the Jackrabbits to head to the Summit League Championship to play North Dakota State at 8 p.m. tonight.

Carlson led the Jackrabbits with 19 points, while Chad White added 10, and Dykstra contributed nine points. For the Mastodons, Mo Evans led his team off the bench with 18 points, while Pierre Bland had 12, and Forbes had 10. Joe Reed also had nine off the bench.

Photo Via Sam Tastad/ESPn 99.1

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