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Jacks open final home weekend against Denver

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/26/2014 15:59:32
South Dakota State’s six game winning streak came to an end last weekend at North Dakota State, which clinched a share of The Summit League’s regular season title with the win, but the Jackrabbits look to end the regular season on a winning note, with home games against Denver and South Dakota this weekend at Frost Arena.

The Jacks start the final weekend of the regular season against Denver on Thursday at 7 p.m., and then close the weekend against South Dakota in the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series on Saturday at 4 p.m.

SDSU won the first meetings with both opponents by a combined three points, downing Denver 74-73 on Jan. 30, and beating South Dakota 70-68 on Feb. 1.

Jordan Dykstra brought the Jacks back from a 10 point second half deficit against the Pioneers in the first meeting, scoring 14 points in the final three minutes of the game, including a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the final 17 seconds to secure the win.

The Jacks trailed by as many as six points in the first half of their first game against the Coyotes, but rallied in the second half to lead by as 15 points. South Dakota made a furious comeback late, but came up just short of completing the comeback.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU closes the regular season, and honors the four Jackrabbit seniors, on Saturday against South Dakota in Frost Arena at 4 p.m.   

TONIGHT’S GAME SPONSORS

Presenting Game Sponsor – Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
   Wellmark 3-Point Play benefits Brookings Parks and Recreation

Associate Game Sponsor – Midwest Dairy Association
   Basketball toss at halftime for prizes, all proceeds benefit the SDSU Dairy Research and Training Facility

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 five 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 needs one rebound to become the third Jackrabbit in history with 1,500 points and 800 rebounds in a career
• Carlson and Dykstra became the first CoSIDA Academic All-Americans for SDSU men’s basketball since 2000

Chad White fouled out in the last game for the first time since Jan. 5, 2013 at South Dakota, a string of 44 games
• Two Jacks fouled out of the same game at NDSU for the second time this season (vs. Loyola Marymount, 11/9/13)
• SDSU held its opponents to a field goal percentage under 40 percent in each of the four of the last five games
• SDSU finished at least +10 in rebounding margin in six of the last seven games
• Of Denver’s four wins in the series, only one came at Frost Arena, 83-80 on Nov. 28, 2009, the last meeting at Frost

• 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. 

TELEVISION COVERAGE – Thursday’s game can be seen live on Midco Sports Net and on Fox College Sports Central with Tom Nieman handling the play-by-play duties and Brad Newitt on color.

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 on Feb. 20, 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 27 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 1,586 points.

DYKSTRA NEARS 800 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 needs one rebound tonight to become just the third player in SDSU history with at least 1,500 points and 800 rebounds in a career.

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 184, good for sixth all-time.

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 tonight’s game ranked 22nd all-time with 1,193 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 219 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 1,056 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 .399 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.

TONIGHT’S OPPONENT

DENVER PIONEERS (15-12, 8-4 Summit) – The Pioneers enter the game tied with both the Jackrabbits and Fort Wayne for second place in The Summit League standings with two games to play, but could still earn a share of the league’s regular season title and the number one overall seed in next weekend’s Summit League Championships with a win tonight over SDSU and a win on Saturday over North Dakota State. They would also need NDSU to lose to South Dakota tonight in Fargo, N.D.

On the flip side, a pair of losses this week could drop Denver to the No. 4 seed in the tournament.

The Pioneers rebounded from their loss to the Jackrabbits on Jan. 30 with a win over North Dakota Sate, but their only loss to this point in the second half of Summit League play came at IUPUI on Feb. 13, which marked the Jaguars lone league win this season to this point.

THE SERIES vs. DENVER – SDSU leads the all-time series 5-4. SDSU won the last meeting on Jan. 30, while Denver won the last meeting in Frost Arena, 83-80 on Nov. 28, 2009.     

THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SEASON; Jan. 30, 2014; DENVER – South Dakota State senior Jordan Dykstra hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers and went 8 for 8 from the free throw line down the stretch to lead the Jackrabbits to a 74-73, come-from-behind win over Denver at Magness Arena, but that hardly tells the story of this back-and-forth contest.

Down 36-28 early in the second half, the Jackrabbits (11-10, 3-3 Summit) came back to get within two points at 40-38 on a Chad White 3-pointer with 14 minutes, 37 seconds left in the game, but the Pioneers (10-11, 3-3 Summit) outscored the Jacks 16-8 over the next five-plus minutes to push the lead to 56-46, their largest lead of the game with 9:11 on the clock.

The Jacks respond with an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 58-57 with 5:49 to play on an old fashioned 3-point play from Marcus Heemstra, prompting a timeout from the DU bench.

Denver scored out of the timeout to go back up by three, but White answered at the other end with a triple of his own, tying the game at 60-all with 5:07 left, the first of four tie scores over the remainder of the contest.

Down 71-66 with 36 seconds left in the game, Dykstra sank a 3-pointer with a hand in his face to cut the lead to 71-69. After a timeout, Cody Larson stole the Denver inbound pass, which ended up in Dykstra’s hands again, and he knocked down another triple, this one with 14 seconds left that gave the Jacks their first lead since the 11:33 mark of the first half, a span of 31 minutes and 19 seconds.

Denver then turned the ball over on its end of the floor, which forced the Pioneers to foul on the inbound with four seconds left. Dykstra again hit the free throws, but Denver inbounded the ball to half court with three seconds left and Bryant Rucker hit a shot at the buzzer, but with a foot on the 3-point line, giving the Jackrabbits the one point win.

Dykstra, who went scoreless in the first half, scored 14 of his team-high 18 points over the last 2 minutes, 51 seconds of the game. Larson added 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Jacks, who out-rebounded the Pioneers 30-18, including a 12-2 edge on the offensive glass. White finished with 13 points and Jake Bittle 10 points in the win.

Denver’s Chris Udofia led all players, and five Pioneers in double figures, with 20 points. Brett Olson finished with 16, Jalen Love 12 and both Rucker and Cam Griffin 11 points in the loss.

The Pioneers did shoot 59 percent from the floor in the game, 26 of 44, compared to the Jacks 49 percent, 24 of 49, but SDSU’s 12 offensive rebounds resulted in 17 second chance points, compared to four from the Pioneers.

THE PIONEERS THE LAST TIME OUT: Feb. 22, vs. Omaha; DENVER – A double-double effort by senior Chris Udofia led the University of Denver to a 72-60 victory over Omaha on Saturday at Magness Arena.

Udofia scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, adding three assists, two steals and two blocks. This marks his third double-double of the season.

Four Pioneers scored in double figures with junior Cam Griffin’s 14 points leading the way for the Pioneers (15-12, 8-4 Summit League), while also grabbing seven rebounds. Junior Marcus Byrd recorded 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks while sophomore Nate Engesser scored 11 points and dished out five assists.

“We played really well in all areas of the game in the final 10 minutes,” head coach Joe Scott said. “We were fighting, scrapping and matching Omaha, and obviously we made some big shots. The offense saved us to where our defense could catch up and make a difference. It was nice to do it in Chris’s last home game because he played unbelievable in a big game and he finished his career at home the right way.”

Trailing by as much as nine in the first half, Denver’s three-point shooting (53.8 percent) sparked a 9-0 run that gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game at 31-27 with 5:00 remaining, and Denver took a 41-32 lead into the half. Engesser led the effort, shooting 3-of-3 from behind the arc in the first half.

Execution on offense helped the Pioneers extend their lead in the second half by as many as 23 points with 7:46 left. The Pioneers shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the field and 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from the three-point line.

The Mavericks (15-13, 4-8 Summit League) scored 18 second-chance points in the game after grabbing 17 of their 43 rebounds on the offensive glass.

The Mavericks were led by CJ Carter, who scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. Mike Rostampour scored 10 points to accompany nine rebounds. Omaha shot 34.3 percent (21-of-61) from the field and 20.0 percent (3-of-15) from beyond the arc.

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