Summit League Preview: Coyotes, Jackrabbits Men, Women Clash
It's rivalry weekend on two college basketball fronts in South Dakota Saturday, as the Coyotes and Jackrabbits collide in a pair of games, both very evenly matched.
The women tip first at the Dakotdome in their first meeting since South Dakota eliminated South Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament last March.
It's a USD (3-1) team that has essentially reloaded from their NCAA Tournament run last season, losing only center Polly Harrington to graduation.
Nicole Seekamp is still in the top ten in the league in scoring, but is dishing out more assists than ever, a Summit-best eight per game.
A lot of those passes are going to Raeshel Contreras who is the fourth best scorer in the conference, averaging 17 points a game. Her emergence as an offensive threat has gotten the attention of opposing coaches like SDSU's Aaron Johnston:
For the Jackrabbits (3-2), it's the usual balanced team approach that has seen this program go to the NCAA Tournament five of the last six years.
Senior forward Mariah Clarin has been the scoring star lately, averaging 17 points and nine rebounds in her last four games, including a career high 22 points against Omaha Thursday night.
SDSU has also been getting solid contributions from true freshman Macy Miller of Mitchell, who is averaging 10 points a game, and is in the top ten in the conference in assists, steals, and offensive rebounds.
USD head coach Amy Williams on the match-up:
Tipoff is 2:00 PM in Vermillion Saturday.
The men's game starts two-and-a-half hours later at Frost Arena, when the Summit League co-leading Coyotes (3-1) visit the Jackrabbits (3-2).
Both teams are riding three-game winning streaks, with point guard George Marshall keying the Jacks latest run, averaging 19 points per game during that time.
Inside, Cody Larson is the leading rebounder in the conference and in the top ten in scoring and blocked shots.
USD head coach Craig Smith knows SDSU is dangerous:
South Dakota has been successful on the road so far in the Summit League, winning both games outside of Vermillion, thanks to the play of senior Tyler Larson, who has scored in double figures in 17 of the Coyotes 18 games this season.
Guard Casey Kasperbauer is starting to heat up from behind the three-point arc, missing just three of his last 14 long range shots (79%), making him the top three-point threat in the conference.
SDSU head coach Scott Nagy says he's impressed by what the Coyotes have been able to accomplish away from home:
Tipoff is 4:30 PM in Brookings Saturday.