It's rivalry week for South Dakota in Summit League men's basketball, as the Coyotes look for something they haven't had since early December - a winning streak.

USD (11-14/3-8) hosts North Dakota State, Thursday night.

The Coyotes lost the first meeting 66-65, nearly erasing a 16-point second half deficit to escape with a win in Fargo. Kory Brown had a big night for NDSU with a double-double (21 points/15 rebounds), while Paul Miller drained four three-pointers. North Dakota State connected on ten long range shots in the game. USD's defense forced 17 turnovers.

The Bison (16-8/6-4) have played tough defense all year, holding opponents to the lowest field goal and three-point shooting percentages in the Summit League, and allowing the fewest points per game. They are near the bottom in points scored, field goals attempted/made, and free throws attempted/made.

Paul Miller is in the top ten in scoring in the conference. Dexter Werner and Kory Brown are in the top ten in rebounding.

Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Vermillion, Thursday night.

The Coyotes travel to South Dakota State Saturday.

USD lost the first meeting 79-75, in Vermillion last month. The Coyotes saw an 11-point first half lead trimmed to four at intermission thanks to seven straight points from SDSU point guard George Marshall. The visitors used an 18-6 run to take the lead to start the second half. Mike Daum led all scorers with 23 points, Jake Bittle added 21.

The Jackrabbits (19-5/8-2) have won five straight heading into this week and hold a half-game lead in the Summit League standings over Fort Wayne. SDSU leads the Summit in offensive rebounding and the fewest turnovers per game, they are last in free throw shooting, steals and blocked shots.

George Marshall and Mike Daum are both in the top ten in the conference in scoring. Daum is third in rebounding.

Tipoff is 4:30 PM in Brookings, Saturday afternoon.

Last week, the Coyotes split a pair of home games, losing to Fort Wayne 95-82 and beating Oral Roberts 91-79.

Against the Mastodons, guard Max Landis had 44 points and 11 three-pointers to lead the visitors, who knocked down a school-record 20 from long range. John Konchar added a double-double (13 points/10 assists).

The Coyotes put four players in double figures, led by Tre Burnette's 18 points off the bench.

Against the Golden Eagles, USD snapped a four-game losing streak with their third best shooting performance of the season (53%) and a sizzling 18-of-20 from the free throw line in the second half to seal the victory. Six different Coyotes scored in double figures, led by Casey Kasperbauer's 17 points.

The Coyotes were playing without Shy McClelland, who was suspended for unspecified reasons. Tuesday afternoon, McClelland announced on Twitter he was no longer on the team. He started 21 games this season and was the team's third leading scorer and rebounder.

I talked with USD head coach Craig Smith about last week's split and this week's match-ups with North Dakota State and South Dakota State:


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