South Dakota State closes the first leg of its six game road trip on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M., where the Jackrabbits take on the No. 16 New Mexico Lobos, in game that marks the Jacks return to The Pit, where they took on Baylor in the NCAA Tournament on March, 15, 2012.
The game marks the end of a three-game, 10 day road trip for the Jackrabbits, who also play the next three games on the road before returning home to Frost Arena on Jan. 10, 2013 against Oakland.
SDSU opened the current road swing with a thrilling 68-67 double overtime win at Montana on Dec. 19, followed by a deflating 76-49 loss at Belmont on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.
THE LAST TIME OUT; at Belmont, Dec. 19 - Tied at 37-all with 12 minutes and 18 seconds left in Wednesday's game at Belmont after Tony Fiegen's first points of the game, the Bruins erupted for an 18-0 run that South Dakota State never recovered from in a 76-49 loss at the Curb Events Center in Nashville, Tenn.
"It started in the first half, you could see that we didn't have great energy, we were down on the glass, we had our hands on every loose ball but couldn't get to them, and that ties into the energy factor," head coach Scott Nagy said. "We were in the game and we went one possession of zone defense, and that's my fault, they hit a three and the flood gates opened."
Nate Wolters finally snapped the Bruins run with a pair of free throws with 8:39 on the clock and SDSU trailing 55-39, but the Jacks could not overcome the deficit, as the 18-0 Belmont spurt turned into a 25-3 run, more than sealing the win.
Ranked 10th in the latest collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll, the Bruins improve to 8-3 on the season, while the Jackrabbits, ranked 13th in the same poll, fall to 9-4.
Wolters led the Jackrabbits with 13 points in the loss, adding eight rebounds and three assists. Brayden Carlson added 12 points and four rebounds.
Trevor Noack led all players, and four Bruins in double figures, with 24 points, Ian Clark added 15, Blake Jenkins 10 and Kerron Johnson 13 points. Jenkins also added 10 rebounds for the game's only double-double.
SDSU committed just seven turnovers to Belmont's 13, but the Bruins won the battle of the boards 43-30, and scored 36 points in the paint, compared to 16 from the Jackrabbits.
The Jackrabbits struggles started early, with an 8-for-31 effort from the floor in the first half, 25.8 percent, but SDSU still went into the locker room down just four at 26-22. Belmont shot 44.4 percent on 12-of-25 shooting in the first half, but did not make a 3-pointer in four tries.
While the Jacks shooting did not improve in the second half, 28.1 percent on 9-of-32 from the floor, Belmont's 3-point shooting did. The Bruins went 7-for-11 from distance in the second half, 63.6 percent, compared the Jackrabbits combined total of 3-for-21, 14.3 percent.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU remains on the road, and returns to Summit League play, on Saturday, Dec. 27, at North Dakota State. The Jacks and Bison tip off at 7 p.m. in Fargo, N.D.
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 five stations throughout South Dakota on the Jackrabbit Sports Network.
- 570 AM - WNAX - Yankton
- 910 AM - KJJQ "The Ranch" - Brookings
- 1060 AM - KGFX - Pierre
- 1480 AM KSDR - Watertown
- 1490 AM - KORN - Mitchell
Pierre, S.D., native Tyler Merriam returns for his second season as the voice of Jackrabbit men's basketball, and also serves as the voice of Jackrabbit football.
THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com watch every SDSU home game and select road games streaming live on the internet. In addition, subscribers can listen to every game, home and on the road, streaming live on the internet.
To subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, log onto GoJacks.com and click on "SIGN UP NOW"
THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON FOX - 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 KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
DOWN TO THE WIRE - The Jackrabbits lost the season opener at Alabama on a 3-point buzzer beater and lost at Hofstra on Nov. 16 on a 3-pointer with three seconds left.
The Jacks turned the tables on Nov. 17 vs. Marshall, as Chad White hit a 3-pointer with two seconds left to lift SDSU to a win. White did it again on Nov. 28, hitting an off-balance 3-pointer as the horn sounded to give the Jacks a 71-70 win over North Dakota.
The Jacks added a double overtime thriller to the mix on Dec. 15 at Montana, when Tony Fiegen sank two free throws with nine seconds left in the second overtime, the last of 19 lead changes in the 68-67 SDSU win.
WOLTERS ON MULTIPLE AWARDS WATCH LISTS - The only player in Division I men's basketball to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in 2011-12 put senior Nate Wolters on the national map, which led him earning place on multiple award watch lists.
- Candidate for Senior CLASS Award - SeniorClassAward.com
- Named on the Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 List - WoodenAward.com
- Lute Olson preseason All-America selection - LuteOlsonAward.com
- Bob Cousy Award Watch List - HoopHall.com
ELITE COMPANY - Wolters finished the 2011-12 campaign averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game to join an exclusive group. He became just the fifth player in NCAA history to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a season. Wolters finished just one assist shy of reaching an even more select group with a 20-points, six-assist and five-rebound average, a feat achieved by only two players in NCAA history.
- Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2011-12 - 21.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.1 rpg
- Norris Cole (Cleveland State), 2010-11 - 21.7 ppg, 5.3, apg, 5.8 rpg
- Evan Turner (Ohio State), 2009-10 - 20.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 9.2 rpg
- Ricky Minard (Morehead State), 2003-04 - 21.8 ppg, 5.1 apg, 7.3 rpg
- Speedy Claxton (Hofstra), 1999-2000 - 22.8 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.4 rpg
PERFECT AT HOME - The Jackrabbits entered the season with 17 straight home wins, and pushed that total to 23 with the win over CSU Bakersfield on Sunday. The Jacks home winning streak ranks third in the nation behind Syracuse with 30 and Kansas with 28.
SDSU won a team-record 27 straight home games from 2002-04, starting with a 98-78 win over Colorado Mines on Nov. 29, 2002, and ending with a 107-104 overtime loss to Omaha on Jan. 10, 2004.
SEVEN IN DOUBLE FIGURES - All 10 Jackrabbits scored at least one point in the Jacks 96-48 win over UDC, seven of which reached double figures. Taévaunn Prince led the way with 13 points, Jordan Dykstra, Nate Wolters, Zach Horstman, Chad White and Marcus Heemstra all scored 12 and Tony Fiegen 10 points in the win.
FIEGEN AND DYKSTRA EARN WEEKLY HONORS - Two South Dakota State men's basketball players posted double-doubles in the Jackrabbits thrilling 68-67 win over Montana on Saturday in Missoula, Mont., earning them both weekly accolades. The Summit League named Tony Fiegen its player of the week, while College Sports Madness tabbed Jordan Dykstra for its weekly league honor.
A senior forward from Madison, Fiegen earned his first career award after a double-double performance that led the Jackrabbits past Montana and snapped the Grizzlies' 15-game home court win streak, the eighth-longest in NCAA Division I. His two decisive free throws with 8.9 seconds remaining in the second overtime propelled SDSU to the 68-67 victory. Fiegen scored 13 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, while playing a career-high 43 minutes. He converted five-of-nine field goal attempts and all three free throws while adding one steal.
A junior forward from Rock Valley, Iowa, Dykstra got the nod from College Sports Madness as its Summit League Men's Basketball Player of the Week after he led the Jacks with 16 points in the win at Montana, adding 10 rebounds for his fourth career double-double. Dykstra also tied a career-high with three steals and tied a season-high with three assists in the win.
ON THE RECORD
WOLTERS CLIMBS THE 1,000-POINT CLUB LADDER - Nate Wolters became the 42nd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club in a win over Sam Houston State on Nov. 22, 2011, and instantly began his climb up the all-time charts at SDSU. He enters the weekend with 1,840 career points, good for second all-time at SDSU, after passing assistant coach Austin Hansen for third on the all-time list Lee Colburn for second on the all-time list in the Jackrabbits win over Montana on Dec. 15.
WOLTERS CHASES ALL-TIME SCORING RECORD - Wolters scored 907 points in his first two years as a Jackrabbit, including the SDSU sophomore record with 604 points and the junior record with 721 points. He entered his senior season 304 points shy of breaking the SDSU record of 1,931, set by SDSU legend Mark Tetzlaff from 1981-85, and now needs 72 to break the mark.
MORE THAN JUST A SCORER - In addition to his scoring prowess, Wolters continues his climb up the all-time assists charts at SDSU. His 188 assists as a sophomore represents the third best single-season total in SDSU history, and his 202 as a junior marks the second-highest single-season total at SDSU. Adding to that, his 539 career assists ranks second all-time at SDSU, 67 shy of breaking the all-time mark of 605 assists, set by Brian Norberg from 1995-99.
DYKSTRA CLOSING IN ON 1,OOO-POINT MILESTONE - Junior Jordan Dykstra scored 351 points as a freshman and 362 points as a sophomore, which gave him 713 for his to start the season. His 171 points this season gives him 884 for his career, 116 shy of becoming the 43rd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
NEW MEXICO LOBOS (12-0, 7-0 Home) - Picked to finish third in the Mountain West Preseason Poll behind San Diego State and UNLV, New Mexico enters Saturday's game with a perfect 12-0 mark and a No. 16 ranking in the latest Associated Press Top-25 poll.
The winning streak includes a perfect 3-0 mark at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, USVI, an overtime win over Indiana State in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge and a season sweep over in-state rival New Mexico State, the Lobos opponent in their last two games.
THE SERIES vs. NEW MEXICO - First Meeting
THE LAST TIME OUT: Dec. 19, at New Mexico State - LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Kendall Williams tied a career high with 24 points, including nine during a first-half run that brought New Mexico back from a double-digit deficit, and the No. 16 Lobos beat rival New Mexico State for the second time in a week with a 68-63 win Wednesday night.
Tony Snell added 11 points for New Mexico (12-0), which matched the second-best start in school history.
The Aggies (5-6) went on a 16-4 run that included four 3-pointers to build a 25-14 lead, but then Williams took over, scoring seven straight points to key an 11-0 run that tied it at 25 with 4:35 left in the first half.
Daniel Mullings scored 13 points and Sy Bandja had 10 rebounds for New Mexico State.
Snell scored six straight points in an 8-0 run early in the second half, breaking a 41-all tie and putting the Lobos ahead to stay.
New Mexico State closed to 56-54 with 3:14 left, but Hugh Greenwood, who had 10 points and six rebounds, responded with a 3-pointer and Alex Kirk hit two free throws.
New Mexico struggled from 3-point range, going 6 for 20, while the Aggies were 10 of 17 from behind the arc.
The Aggies again chipped away and pulled to 62-58 with 1:02 left, but Snell drove the lane for a floater and Williams scored twice from the line to keep the Lobos in control.
Williams hit all eight of his foul shots to help New Mexico finish 16 of 21 from the line, compared to 11 for 20 for the Aggies.