BROOKINGS, S.D. – Fort Wayne men’s basketball rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit but ultimately fell in the final minute 78-76 to South Dakota State at Frost Arena on Saturday (Jan. 27).
The Mastodons immediately went to work in the second half as just over five minutes into the half the deficit was already down to nine points. A Kason Harrell jumper with 8:18 on the clock made it a 64-60 contest before Bryson Scott knotted the game at 67 at 5:42. The ‘Dons earned their first lead of the second half with 2:06 left on a Scott layup 71-70.
It was a one-point ‘Don lead when SDSU’s Skyler Flatten made a 3-pointer at 1:09. SDSU’s lead would only be brief as on the next possession John Konchar made a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left to put the ‘Dons up 76-75. But reigning Summit League Player of the Year Mike Daum’s two free throws with 21 seconds on the clock would eventually be the difference.
On Fort Wayne’s final possession, Scott drove to the basket but his attempt was blocked and went out of bounds. Konchar had a look from three two seconds later but it too was off the mark. SDSU grabbed the rebound and Tevin King connected on one free throw to put the final difference at 78-76.
Konchar totaled 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block. Scott added 17 points and three steals. Harrell pitched in 12 points and Xzavier Taylor added 10 points. Chris Rollins scored a career-high seven points.
The ‘Dons finished with 10 total 3-pointers, eight in the second half. Fort Wayne turned 14 SDSU turnovers into 20 points.
Daum had 23 points and 14 rebounds for SDSU.
The ‘Dons fall to 14-10 (3-4 Summit). SDSU is now 18-6 (6-1 Summit). The ‘Dons return to action on Thursday (Feb. 1) against Oral Roberts. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Fort Wayne’s Addison Agen will perform the National Anthem prior to the game.