(5) OHIO STATE 81, (12) SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 73
NCAA TOURNAMENT 1ST ROUND (Boise, Idaho)
BOISE, Idaho (gojacks.com) - A furious comeback down the stretch put all of March Madness on notice, but the 12th-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits saw their season come to a heartbreaking end at the NCAA Tournament's West Region, falling 81-73 to No. 5 seed Ohio State.
The Jackrabbits stormed back from 10 down with less than five minutes to play as the Taco Bell Arena fans came to their feet, but the upset bid fell short as the Buckeyes used a 3-pointer and eight free throws in the final two minutes to escape with the win.
SDSU (28-7) finished 38.1 percent in the game and hit 13 3-pointers while going 12-for-14 at the charity stripe.
Mike Daum led all scorers with 27 points, hitting five 3-pointers with six rebounds over 37 minutes of action
David Jenkins Jr. and Brandon Key each had 16 points as Jenkins buried all six of his free throws and Key sank a career-high four 3-pointers in addition to four assists.
Reed Tellinghuisen added 10 points and seven boards while Tevin King led the team with nine rebounds.
Ohio State (25-8) finished the game with a 37.5 field goal percentage but used an 18-6 advantage in points off of turnovers to keep SDSU at bay.
Jenkins scored the first seven points for South Dakota State as the Jacks led early, building a 12-8 advantage near the 14:30 mark before the Buckeyes answered with eight straight, carrying a four-point lead into the under-12 media. State continued to hang around, however, and a thunderous dunk from Daum at 7:21 made it a three-point game (29-26), forcing a Buckeye timeout.
Out of the reset, OSU stole back the momentum while building its largest lead (38-29) of the half at 4:48. Over the next minute, however, Brandon Key pulled SDSU back into the game with a pair of 3-pointers as the Jacks outscored the Buckeyes 14-5 the rest of the half to go into the locker room tied, 43-all.
South Dakota State built a 48-45 lead early in the second, only to see Ohio State answer with 16 straight to go up 13 (61-48) with 12:08 left. Jenkins and Daum ended the run with consecutive 3-pointers soon after, but the Buckeyes soon built the advantage back to double figures and led by 10 (70-60) with 4:42 left.
Needing a rally, Key and Daum hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark SDSU on a 10-0 run to tie it with 1:54 left, 70-70. OSU ended the Jackrabbit run with seven points between the next two possessions to stave off South Dakota State's upset bid.