Summit League Preview: Jackrabbit Men Host North Dakota State, Oral Roberts
It hasn't happened since January 25, 2014.
That was the last time South Dakota State lost a Summit League men's basketball game, or any game, at Frost Arena in Brookings. Since then, the Jackrabbits have run off 27 straight wins at home, good for the third best current streak in Division I. Of those wins, 18 were conference victories.
If SDSU can extend that streak by two more games this week, they might just be celebrating another regular season Summit title. South Dakota Sate begins play this week one game behind Fort Wayne for the top spot in the conference standings.
The Jackrabbits (21-7/10-4) start the final week hosting the last team to beat them in Brookings - North Dakota State.
SDSU lost the first meeting of the year with the Bison, 68-57, in Fargo, last month, as the Jacks shot a season-low 29 percent from the floor. Guard Paul Miller led NDSU with 17 points, but he is questionable for Thursday's game after missing the last five games with a knee injury.
NDSU (18-10/8-6) has been led by defense this season, allowing the fewest points in the Summit League, holding opponents to the lowest field goal and three-point shooting percentages in the conference. The Bison are the worst free throw shooting team in the league and also have the fewest assists. Kory Brown is second in rebounding, eighth in steals, ninth in assists.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Brookings, Thursday.
The regular season ends Saturday with a match-up against Oral Roberts.
SDSU won the first meeting with the Golden Eagles, 86-74, in Tulsa, in January. The Jacks led by eight at halftime, and extended the lead to 16 after opening the second half on a 15-5 run, part of a 58 percent second half shooting performance. South Dakota State won the rebounding battle by ten and outscored ORU 42-24 in the paint. The game marked the return of SDSU senior Jake Bittle, who had missed the previous seven games with injury.
Oral Roberts (14-14/6-8) is led by the number one scorer in the Summit, Obi Emegano. The pre-season player of the year in the conference has scored 20 or more in his last nine games. Albert Owens leads the league in blocked shots.
Tipoff is 4:30 PM in Brookings, Saturday.
In a battle of first place teams, the Mastodons dominated the offensive glass, converting 13 offensive rebounds into 19 points, while outshooting SDSU 11-7 from behind the three-point arc to win by 12.
In Macomb, the Jackrabbits scored 32 of the game's first 45 points and never looked back. Mike Daum led SDSU with 18 points off the bench. The South Dakota State defense turned 14 WIU turnovers into 26 points.
I talked with Jackrabbits head coach Scott Nagy about last week's split and this week's match-ups with North Dakota State and Oral Roberts: