Hot Start Propels Iowa State Over Jackrabbits

OMAHA, Neb. – Iowa State got off to strong starts to begin both halves and those stretches lifted the Cyclones over South Dakota State, 82-65, on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship at the CHI Health Center.

The No. 2 seed Cyclones jumped out by scoring the game’s first seven points before a Matt Mims 3-pointer cut the deficit to 7-3. Iowa State built its advantage from there by making its first nine field goals to go ahead 22-7 less than seven minutes into the contest.

SDSU battled its way back into the matchup. A 10-point scoring run, with six points from Zeke Mayo and four from William Kyle III, cut the margin to 22-17 with 10:09 remaining in the first half.

The Cyclones pushed their lead back into double digits, but the Jackrabbits trimmed the deficit to single digits before halftime. A Luke Appel jumper and 3-pointer by Mayo made it 38-31, then following an Iowa State layup, a jumper by Mayo with 15 seconds left cut the score to 40-33 at the break.

The Jackrabbits hung with Iowa State for the opening 20 minutes despite the Cyclones outshooting SDSU 63.0-46.4%, along with a 50-36.4% difference from 3-point range.

South Dakota State began the second half with a 3-pointer from Mims to make it 40-36. Following an Iowa State layup, a jumper in the paint by Kyle III cut the margin again down to four with SDSU trailing 42-38 with 18:31 remaining.

The Cyclones responded with a 12-0 scoring run to go ahead 54-38 just over two minutes later. The closest SDSU got the score again to was 13. The Big 12 Conference tournament champions held the Jacks to a 17% clip from the field in the second half before SDSU made its last seven shots of the contest to push their shooting mark to 40%.

Iowa State improved to 28-7 overall with the win while advancing to the second round. The Jackrabbits fell to 22-13 overall.

Five Cyclones finished in double digits scoring led by Milan Momcilovic’s 19 points. Tre King grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, while Tamin Lipsey had a team-high seven of the Cyclones’ 23 assists. Iowa State shot 57.9% from the field and made 11 3-pointers. The Cyclones’ field goal percentage was the second highest against the Jackrabbits this season along with their assist total.

Mayo paced the Jackrabbits in scoring with 19 points. He was joined in double digits by Kyle III (14) and Easley (11). Appel and Kyle III had seven rebounds apiece. Mayo had a team-high four of SDSU’s 15 assists.


  • The Jackrabbits are now 0-7 all-time in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. SDSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the previous 13 years and second time in three seasons.
  • South Dakota State ends its 2023-24 season as The Summit League regular season and tournament champions. It was the program’s ninth and seventh titles, respectively.
  • The game served as the final appearances of the college careers for Appel, Easley and Mims. All three were part of two Summit League tournament championship teams and were together for three regular season titles while at South Dakota State.
  • SDSU’s 22 wins set a consistent benchmark for the Jackrabbits. The Jacks have won 20 or more games in five of the last seven seasons and nine of the last 13 campaigns.