All season long, South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy has been telling everyone that once his team plays better on the defensive end of the floor, they would be very tough to beat.  Over the last five games, that's exactly what's happened.

The Jackrabbits have won their last five still playing the same solid game on offense, but it's on defense where things have really come together.

SDSU is holding down opponent shooting percentages, point totals, and outrebounding them at every turn during this run, most recently Thursday night, when they avenged an earlier loss to Omaha, holding the Mavs to under 32 percent shooting, and to 20 points less on the scoreboard than their first meeting.

Against Western Illinois Saturday, points will be a premium, as the Leathernecks play a very deliberate style of basketball.

The SDSU defense did its part in the Jacks nine point win over Western at home last month: plus-six on the boards, plus-eight in the paint, while limiting WIU to only five second chance points, but coach Scott Nagy says it was the offensive numbers, like 35 percent shooting in the second half, that have him concerned:

Tipoff is 7:00pm Thursday in Macomb.