The Colorado State Rams were outlasted by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the Gulf Coast Showcase’s fifth-place game on Wednesday afternoon.
CSU suffered a 78-65 defeat to SDSU, as the Jackrabbits were led by sophomore guard David Jenkins and freshman forward Ryan Krueger.
The Rams limited star forward Mike Daum, who has averaged at least 24 points and eight rebounds per game each season since he was a sophomore. The senior scored 80 total points in the Gulf Coast Showcase making him the tournament’s leading scorer.
However, Daum contributed only 11 against the Rams following a 41-point outing against Texas San Antonio Tuesday.
But it was David Jenkins who came up big when South Dakota State needed him most. Everytime CSU crept back into the game, it was Jenkins who provided an answer to extend the lead.
The guard finished the game with a career-high 32 points on 13-23 shooting, adding seven rebounds.
Krueger’s career-high 16 points came off the bench and were partly a result of Daum getting in early foul trouble. Daum accounted for two fouls in the first two minutes of the game.
Kruger was playing an average of less than five minutes per game before Wednesday. The forward played 20 minutes against CSU and clearly proved his worth, converting on all four of his first half 3-point attempts.
The Rams got off to a hot start and fully took advantage of Daum’s early foul trouble. With the player of the year candidate sitting on the bench, CSU scored the game’s first eight points.
Oral Roberts transfer guard Kris Martin provided a spark that helped the Rams compete even when Daum returned. Martin, who was suspended for the first five games of the season, was one of three Rams to score seven points in the first half.
Though CSU traded blows with the Jackrabbits for some time, poor shooting inhibited the Rams from staying within striking distance as the game progressed.
The green and gold shot a season-low 35.4 percent as a team, over 10 percent less than its counterpart on Wednesday. Once again, the poor shooting display was highlighted by an unwarranted amount of ill-advised, rushed shot attempts from beyond the arc.
CSU converted a mere 8-36 3-point attempts, a lowly 22.2 percent from deep.
South Dakota State used a late first half run to go into the locker room with a comfortable lead that was too much for the Rams to handle in the final 20 minutes.
SDSU’s Jenkins closed the first half by sinking a 3 from the top of the key as time expired. This gave South Dakota State it’s largest lead of the game to that point, 48-32.
The Rams actually outscored South Dakota State by three points in the second half. However, the Jackrabbits’ lead increased to as large as 18 at one point. CSU also never got within 10 until the final five minutes.
That was short-lived as well, South Dakota State responded with a 6-1 run.
Anthony Masinton-Bonner was CSU’s leading scorer on Wednesday. The redshirt junior amassed 20 points on 7-12 shooting from the floor.
Redshirt senior guard J.D. Paige was one of CSU’s few effective shooters as well against the Jackrabbits. Paige scored 15 points on 6-12 shooting overall, and he also went 3-8 from deep.
Martin totalled 11 points and seven rebounds in his Colorado State debut off the bench.
Redshirt junior guard Lorenzo Jenkins and freshman guard Kendle Moore have been spark plugs thus far for CSU this season. But, lack of production from both hurt the Rams on Wednesday.
Jenkins and Moore both scored five points on 2-9 shooting. Redshirt junior forward Nico Carvacho struggled all Gulf Coast Showcase long. On Wednesday, the Jackrabbits’ defense in the paint gave Carvacho fits all afternoon.
Carvacho accumulated 11 rebounds, but scored only three points and missed all three of his field goals.
The 4-2 Colorado State Rams head back to Fort Collins after losing two of three games in Fort Myers, FL. CSU is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts the Southern Illinois Salukis as part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge.
CSU has lost two consecutive MW-MV challenge games after defeating Northern Iowa 84-78 on the road three seasons ago.