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S.D. State takes UB to task

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- Coach Reggie Witherspoon summed up the University at Buffalo men's basketball team's loss here to South Dakota State on national television succinctly.

"South Dakota State took us to the woodshed," Witherspoon said Saturday afternoon following the Bulls' 86-65 loss to the Jackrabbits at Frost Arena during the ESPN BracketBuster event. "We weren't physical at all. We weren't aggressive enough. They did a good job of spreading us out and doing what they do best. We didn't take them to the glass, pound it inside and do what we do best. In the end, when that happens, it's bad for Buffalo."

That it was as South Dakota State (22-7) handed UB (16-8) its worst loss of the season before a crowd of 5,378. The Jackrabbits, ranked 17th nationally in points per game (78.6), shot 49 percent (including 61 percent in the second half) from the floor against the nation's sixth-best field-goal percentage defensive team. They outrebounded the nation's third-best rebounding team in UB, 35-31.

Nate Wolters, the nation's sixth-leading scorer, had game highs of 22 points and eight assists as S.D. State won its 15th straight home game and handed the Bulls their second straight loss.

Mitchell Watt led UB, which never had a lead, with 15 points and eight rebounds. Zach Filzen added 13 points.

The Bulls trailed by three late in the first half but the hosts used a 10-0 run to take a 31-18 edge 2:44 before the break. The Jackrabbits, who led 38-26 at halftime, outrebounded UB, 23-14, in the opening 20 minutes, leading to 10 second-chance points.

UB next will face Mid-American Conference foe Ohio on Wednesday at Alumni Arena.