Brookings, SD (WKZO) – Despite Matt Stainbrook scoring a career high 32 points, the Broncos couldn’t hold onto a halftime lead as they dropped their opening game of the season, to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 82-76.
Stainbrook scored 19 points in the first half, as he saw extended time on the court, as Flenard Whitfield got himself into early foul trouble. Stainbrook also had 7 rebounds as he topped his career high of 18, set last season against Northern Illinois.
The Broncos took a 1 point lead into the half, 36-35, but the Jackrabbits pulled away down the stretch, eventually outscored the Broncos 37-23 over the last 12 minutes.
“Against a team like South Dakota we weren’t tough enough,” Head Coach Steve Hawkins said following the game. “They are a very talent team. Make no mistake they were picked to finish as high as second in their league for a reason.”
The Broncos missed key free throws, and went only 9-19 from the charity stripe in the 2nd half.
“We just missed too many free throws,” Coach Hawkins said. “We had a chance to keep leads or catch up with free throws, just wasn’t our day from the free throw line, that’s for sure.”
The struggles from the free throw line weren’t the Broncos only problem, as they failed to hit from downtown making only 2 from beyond the arc on 15 attempts.
Demetrious Ward finished in double figures, adding 16 points and so did Mike Douglas with 14