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Jacks look to stay hot against Bison

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/20/2014 12:03:52
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Riding a season-long six game winning streak, four of which came on the road, South Dakota State looks to make it five in a row on the road and seven overall on Saturday, when they travel to Fargo, N.D., to take on Summit League preseason favorite and current league-leader North Dakota State in the Bison Sports Arena at 2 p.m.

The Jackrabbits, who can move into a tie with the Bison atop the league standings with a win, won a pair of games last weekend on the road, downing Omaha on Thursday and Western Illinois on Saturday.

Both Jake Bittle and Cody Larson finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the 77-60 win over the Mavericks, with Brayden Carlson adding a game-high 17 points. The Jacks outrebounded the Mavs 50-29, and held them to a 31.7 percent shooting percentage overall, 19 of 60, including a 5 of 22 mark from 3-point range.

Bittle shined again in the Jacks 62-50 win over Western Illinois on Saturday, as did Jordan Dykstra, who finished with a game-high 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, which ties a season-high mark for the senior. Larson added 11 points and seven rebounds for SDSU, which again dominated the glass, 44-27, and held the Fighting Leathernecks to 32 percent shooting, 14 of 47 overall, and 4 of 17 from long range, 23.5 percent.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU returns home for the final two games of the regular season next week, starting with Denver on Thursday at 7 p.m., followed by the regular season finale on Saturday against South Dakota at 4 p.m.     

JACKRABBIT QUICK HITS

• Carlson cracked the SDSU career top-10 in 3-pointers at Omaha with 151
• Larson holds the longest active streak of double figure scoring for SDSU with four games in a row
• Dykstra made 32 straight free throws from Jan. 9-Feb. 1 before missing his 33rd attempt at USD
• Dykstra missed more free throws at Western Illinois, four, than he did in the previous 10 games combined
• Dykstra enters the game 55 for 62 from the free throw line in Summit League play (88.7 percent)
• Carlson and Dykstra became the first CoSIDA Academic All-Americans for SDSU men’s basketball since 2000
• SDSU held its opponents to a field goal percentage under 40 percent in each of the last four games
• SDSU finished at least +10 in rebounding margin in each of the last six games
• SDSU won its last four games by an average margin of 20.25 points per game
• The Jackrabbits last loss came against the Bison on Jan. 25, at Frost Arena (85-77)

• SDSU plays out the season with a trio of 1,000 point scorers for the first time since the final two games of 2010, when Garrett Callahan, Kai Williams and Clint Sargent all played with at least 1,000 career points

TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS

RABBITS ON THE RADIO – Originated from the AM 570 WNAX studios in Yankton, S.D., every SDSU men’s basketball games can be heard live on a total of nine stations on the Jackrabbit Sports Network.

WNAX - 570 AM – Yankton     
KBFS - 1450 AM – Belle Fourche      
KJJQ - 910 AM – Brookings
KDSJ - 980 AM – Deadwood  
KORN - 1490 AM – Mitchell   
KOLY - 1300 AM – Mobridge
KGFX - 1060 AM – Pierre       
KJOE - 106.1 FM – Pipestone, Minn.
KSDR - 1480 AM – Watertown

Pierre, S.D., native, and 2012 South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year, Tyler Merriam returns for his third season as the voice of Jackrabbit men’s basketball. He also serves as the voice of Jackrabbit football and baseball. 

THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON KELOLAND-TV – Fans of South Dakota State Athletics can get a weekly behind-the-scenes look at all 21 Jackrabbit varsity sports teams by tuning into “The Jackrabbit Insider.”

Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sundays on MyUTV at 10:30 p.m., followed by a broadcast on Sunday at 11 p.m. on KELOLAND-TV.

THE JACKRABBITS ON TWITTER

Jackrabbit Athletics: @SDSU_Jacks
Men’s Basketball: @JackrabbitHoops

THE JACKRABBITS ON FACEBOOK

Jackrabbit Athletics: SDSU Jackrabbit Nation
Men’s Basketball: South Dakota State University Men’s Basketball

NOTEWORTHY

CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS – Both Brayden Carlson and Jordan Dykstra earned Capital One, CoSIDA Academic All-American honors this week, making them the first SDSU men’s basketball players to earn the honor since 2000. Carlson earned a first team seleciton, with Dykstra making the second team. 

DOUBLE-DOUBLE DIFFERENCEJordan Dykstra and Cody Larson combined for eight double-doubles over the first 11 games of the season, but none for the next seven games. Larson snapped that skid vs. Western Illinois on Jan. 16, and Dykstra added another at South Dakota on Feb. 1. The Jacks broke free for two more double-doubles, when both Larson and Jake Bittle finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Omaha on Feb. 13, with Dykstra adding one more on Feb. 15 at Western Illinois.

20 POINTS PER GAMEBrayden Carlson entered his senior season with a pair of 20-point games under his belt, both of them last year, but scored 20 or more points in seven games this season, all in a span of 11 games. As a team, one Jackrabbit scored at least 20 points in 16 of team’s 26 games, with at least two players scoring 20 points in two games.

Additionally, the Jacks put five players in double figures in two games this season, both at home; vs. Southwest Minnesota State on Nov. 18, and vs. Belmont on Dec. 14.

DYKSTRA CRACKS TOP-FIVE ON SCORING LISTJordan Dykstra became the 43rd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club in the Jacks win over South Dakota on Jan. 31, and immediately started to climb the scoring charts. He entered the 2013-14 season ranked 23rd all-time at SDSU with 1,149 points, and cracked the career top-10 on Jan. 9 at IUPUI. He enters tonight’s game ranked fifth all-time at SDSU with 1,576 points.

DYKSTRA CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER REBOUNDS – Dykstra joined an elite group of Jackrabbits on Jan. 11 at Fort Wayne, when he became the fourth player in school history to rank in the top-10 in points and rebounds in a career. He enters the night ranked sixth all-time at SDSU with 793 rebounds, 11 shy of fifth on the all-time list.

DYKSTRA CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER 3-POINTERS – Dykstra opened the season with 142 career 3-pointers, five shy of cracking the all-time top-10 at SDSU, which he did at Texas Tech on Nov. 21. He enters tonight’s game with 183, good for sixth all-time at SDSU.

WHITE HITS 1,000-POINT MILESTONE – Senior Chad White came up 53 points shy of becoming the 44th member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club last year, but hit the mark at Texas Tech on Nov. 21. He continues his climb up the list, and enters today’s game ranked 22nd all-time with 1,187 points.

WHITE IN ELITE COMPANYChad White entered the 2013-14 season with 169 career 3-point field goals, good for fifth all-time at SDSU. He moved up to fourth all-time on Jan. 11, and became the fourth Jackrabbit to sink at least 200 career 3-pointers vs. Western Illinois on Jan. 16. He now ranks third all-time with 217 career triples

CARLSON HITS 1,000 POINT MILESTONE – Senior Brayden Carlson scored 85 points as a freshman, but scored 254 as a sophomore and 317 as a junior, giving him 656 entering his senior season, 344 shy of the milestone, which he hit at the free throw line at South Dakota on Feb. 1. He enters tonight’s game ranked 36th all-time at SDSU with 1,046 points.

CARLSON CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER 3-POINTERS – Carlson sank his 151st career 3-pooiner on Feb. 13 at Omaha, which puts him in tie for 10th all-time at SDSU.

GOOD FOR THREE! – Three of the top-10 three-point shooters in SDSU history, based on 3-point field goal percentage, currently play for the Jackrabbits. Jordan Dykstra leads the way with .444 percent, Chad White ranks fifth with a .409 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the game ranked seventh all-time with a .403 career mark from long range.

THREE IN 1,000-POINT CLUB – The Jacks play with three members of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club, the first time since 2010, when Clint Sargent, Garrett Callahan and Kai Williams played the final two games of the season with at least 1,000 career points. Prior to that trio, the Jacks last played with three 1,000 point scorers during the 1968-69 season when John Thomas, Guy Mackner and Gene Zulk all played with 1,000 career points.

TODAY’S OPPONENT

NORTH DAKOTA STATE BISON (20-6, 9-2 Summit) – With three games left in the regular season, the preseason favorite Bison sit alone atop The Summit League standings, and can lock up at least a share of the regular season title on Saturday with a win over the Jackrabbits. 

Like the Jackrabbits, the Bison swept a pair of league games last week on the road, winning at Western Illinois on Thursday and at Omaha on Saturday.

THE SERIES vs. NORTH DAKOTA STATE – The Bison lead the all-time series 110-98 after the teams split the regular season series in 2012-13, with each team winning on its home floor. SDSU downed the Bison 73-67 on March 12, 2013 to win in The Summit League Championships.     

The Bison won the first meeting of the 2013-14 season at Frost Arena.

THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SEASON; Jan. 25, 2014; Frost Arena – South Dakota State trailed by four points at halftime of Saturday’s game with Summit League preseason favorite North Dakota State, but a 13-2 run by the Bison to start the second half turned a 41-37 lead into a 54-39 lead that the Jackrabbits could not overcome in an 85-77 loss at Frost Arena.

“We’re just not good enough defensively to win that game right now, and unless that changes, this is who we’re going to be,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “If that can change, if we can get that changed, then we’re going to be okay.”

Both team shot an even 50 percent from the floor in the first half, but the Bison, who improve to 15-5 overall and to 4-1 in The Summit League, went 12 for 12 from the free throw line, while the Jacks, who fall to an even 10-10 overall and to 2-3 in the league, went 5 for 9 from the charity stripe.

A Jordan Dykstra jumper on the Jackrabbits first possession of the second half cut the Bison lead to just two points at 41-39, but NDSU scored the next 13 points to open up the 15 point lead, its largest of the game.

The Jacks battled back to cut the lead to as few as five points at 80-75 with 42 seconds left in the game, but the Bison hit seven of their nine free throw attempts over the last minute of the game to seal the win.

Brayden Carlson led the Jackrabbits with 22 points in the loss adding four assists and three rebounds. Dykstra finished with 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Chad White came on strong in the second half to score 13 of his 16 points, with Cody Larson adding 14 points and seven rebounds.

NDSU’s Taylor Braun led all players with 30 points, with six each in rebounds and assists. Marshall Bjorklund finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Lawrence Alexander added 15 points and six rebounds in the win.

THE BISON THE LAST TIME OUT: Feb. 15, at Omaha – OMAHA, Neb. – The North Dakota State men’s basketball team maintained its first-place position in The Summit League with a 75-59 victory at Omaha on Saturday, Feb. 15. The Bison improved to 20-6 overall and 9-2 in league play this season.

NDSU senior Taylor Braun scored 31 points, grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and tallied five assists in one of his most impressive games of the season. Braun was 12-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. It was his fourth game with 30 or more points this season.

NDSU shot 49.2 percent (29-of-59) in the game and limited Omaha to 31.7 percent shooting (19-of-60). The Bison posted a 44-29 rebounding advantage.

Omaha (15-11, 4-6 Summit) was led by 16 points from senior center John Karhoff.

Bison junior Lawrence Alexander had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.

NDSU held a 36-31 lead at halftime, but the Mavericks pulled within two points at 40-38 three minutes into the second half. The Bison rattled off an 18-4 run that made the lead 58-42 with just under 11 minutes left, and NDSU eventually led by as many as 24 points.

The win gives NDSU consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1995-96 and 1996-97 campaigns. NDSU’s 44 combined wins over the last two seasons are its most since winning 48 games between 1924-26.

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