Summit League Preview: Jackrabbit Men Host IUPUI
A well-rested South Dakota State team can extend the longest current win streak in the Summit League to five games, and stay within range of first place in Summit League men's basketball with a win at home Saturday night.
The Jackrabbits (18-5/7-2) play for the first time in a week when they host IUPUI.
The Jaguars won the first meeting, 74-67, in Indianapolis last month, rallying from a seven-point deficit. IUPUI climbed back to take a two-point lead at intermission before extending that advantage to as many as 13 with a 17-3 run in the second half. Darell Combs led the Jaguars with 18 points. Jordan Pickett and Nick Osborne came off the bench to add a combined 25 points. The Jacks were outscored 21-10 at the free throw line.
The SDSU loss snapped an 11-game winning streak against the Jags.
The Jaguars have made a habit of playing close games this year, winning their last three games by a combined five points, before Thursday's two-point loss. IUPUI is second in the conference in steals, third in total defense.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Brookings, Saturday night.
Against the Mavericks Thursday, the Jackrabbits played with renewed confidence offensively, shooting 63 percent in the first half, hitting 11 straight shots at one point, and leading by as many as 13.
UNO tied it in the second half, but three-pointers from Mike Daum and Deondre Parks keyed a 12-0 SDSU run, putting the game out of reach. Parks (22 points) and George Marshall (28 points) were a combined 19-of-25 (76%) from the floor.
The Jackrabbit defense limited the Summit League's #1 offense to 43 percent shooting and nine points below their season average.
In Denver Saturday, a deliberate Pioneer offense and 38 percent shooting put SDSU down a point at halftime, but the Jackrabbits offense came to life in the second half, shooting 57 percent and outscoring DU 43-31.
Daum scored 13 of his 15 points in the second 20 minutes, on 4-of-5 shooting. Jake Bittle finished with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
I talked with Jackrabbits head coach Scott Nagy about last week's sweep and this week's game with IUPUI: