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Top-seeded Jacks face Mastodons in Summit semis

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 03/11/2013 14:58:58
SIOUX FALLS - Top-seeded South Dakota State took care of business in its opening round of the Summit League Championships with a 66-49 win over No. 8 seed IUPUI in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals on Monday, where they take on the No. 5 seeded Fort Wayne Mastodons on Monday at 6:05 p.m.

The Mastodons advance with a 91-72 win over No. 4 seed Oakland, the third win for the 'Dons over the Golden Grizzlies since Feb. 20.

THE LAST TIME OUT; March 9, vs. IUPUI: SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Top-seeded South Dakota State advanced The Summit League Championship Semifinals on Saturday with a quarterfinal win over No. 8 seed IUPUI, using a pair of runs, a 20-point night from Summit League Player of the Year Nate Wolters and a double-double from Tony Fiegen to secure a 66-49 win.

SDSU fell into an early 7-3 hole, but responded with a 15-0 run that put the Jacks up for good at 18-7 with 10:42 left in the first half.

Despite the run, and despite never trailing again, the Jaguars did not go quietly, and cut the lead to just four points at 31-27 at halftime.

Following the break, the Jags came out in the second half and cut the lead to as few as two points at 33-31 with 17:34 to play and to three points roughly two minutes later before the Jacks answered with a 10-2 run that turned a 41-37 lead into a 53-39 advantage with 8:37 on the clock.

IUPUI snapped the run with just over eight minutes remaining, but would get no closer than 12 points for the remainder of the game.

Wolters' 20 points lead all players in the game, adding three rebounds and four assists. Both Fiegen and Jordan Dykstra finished with 15 points in the win. Fiegen added a trio of assists and 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Dykstra added six rebounds.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jacks advance to The Summit League finals with a win over Fort Wayne, where they would face either Western Illinois vs. North Dakota State. The Fighting Leathernecks entered the tournament with the No. 2 seed, while the Bison came in with the No. 3 seed.

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, and 2012 South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year, Tyler Merriam returns for his second season as the voice of Jackrabbit men's basketball. He also serves as the voice of Jackrabbit football.

THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com listen to every games 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.

NOTEWORTHY

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 a place on multiple award watch lists.

- Named on the Wooden Midseason Top-25 - WoodenAward.com
- Lute Olson preseason All-America selection - LuteOlsonAward.com
- Bob Cousy Award Final 12 Candidate - HoopHall.com
- Lou Henson Award Finalist - LouHensonAward.com

- Naismith Men's Player of the Year Candidate - NaismithAwards.com

ELITE COMPANY - Nate Wolters enters The Summit League Championships on pace to become the first player since the NCAA began keeping assists as an official statistic in 1983-84 to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in two separate seasons. He averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game last year to become the fifth to achieve a 20-5-5 season. His 2012-13 pace could allow him to reach an elite group with a 20-points, six-assist and five rebound average, a feat he missed by just one assist in 2011-12 and one only two other players in NCAA history achieved.

- 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

Wolters also enters the tournament 17 rebounds shy of joining an exclusive group of NCAA Division I players to reach career totals of 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists. Maryland's Greivis Vasquez achieved the rare trifecta first and Ohio's D.J. Cooper enters the week six points from becoming the second to reach the milestone. Only three players (Cooper would be fourth) amasses 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career: Vasquez, Duke's Danny Ferry and Penn State's Talor Battle. Wolters scored more career points than any member of that elite group.

NCAA players to amass 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists in a career
- Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), 2006-10 - 2,171 pts. 647 reb. 772 ast
- Danny Ferry (Duke), 1985-89 - 2,155 pts. 1,003 reb. 506 ast.
- Talor Battle (Penn State), 2007-11 - 2,213 pts. 625 reb. 517 ast.
*D.J. Cooper (Ohio) - 1,994 pts. 608 reb. 907 ast.

*Nate Wolters (South Dakota State) - 2,288 pts. 583 reb. 641 ast.
*through March 2

WOLTERS NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK/MONTH YEAR -The Summit League named Nate Wolters its Player of the Week a league-record seven times during the 2012-13 season, giving him 15 weekly honors for his career, which ties the all-time league mark. He also earned the league's male athlete of the month twice, along with the pre and postseason player of the year honors.

PERFECT AT HOME - The Jackrabbits entered the season with 17 straight home wins, and then capped their second perfect home season at 13-0 with a 64-55 win over Western Illinois on Feb. 16, giving SDSU a school and Summit League record 30 consecutive home wins, the longest streak in all of Division I basketball. 

JACKS DOUBLE UP - After posting a single double-double in each of his first two seasons, Jordan Dykstra posted double-doubles in a team-high nine games this season, including four of the last six games.

Nate Wolters posted five double-doubles in his first three seasons and five more so far this season. Three of Wolters double-doubles came with points and assists, and two of them from points and rebounds.

Both Dykstra and Wolters recorded double-doubles at CSU Bakersfield and at Omaha, while Dykstra and Tony Fiegen both posted double-doubles in the double-overtime win at Montana. Fiegen added his second double-double of the season in the Jacks 66-49 quarterfinal win over IUPUI on Saturday.

A FIRST FOR THE JACKRABBITS - South Dakota State's victory at previously unbeaten and No. 16 ranked New Mexico on Dec. 22, marked SDSU's first victory over a ranked opponent at the Division I level and gave The Summit League its only win over a ranked team this season. The Jackrabbits lost their first seven games against ranked opponents in Division I.

ON THE RECORD

WOLTERS SETS SCORING RECORDS - 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 then set the school record for points in a career on Jan. 5 at South Dakota, when he broke Mark Tetzlaff's 28 year-old record in the DakotaDome.

Wolters also set the SDSU single game scoring record with a 53-point outburst at Fort Wayne on Feb. 7, when he eclipsed set the SDSU single-game record with nine 3-pointers. In addition to those marks, the 53-point performance marks the third-highest in Summit League history, trailing only North Dakota State's Ben Woodside (60 vs. Stephen F. Austin, Dec. 12, 2008) and UMKC's Michael Watson (54 vs. Oral Roberts, Feb. 22, 2003), but does represent the highest single-game total in league history in a regulation game, and represents the highest single-game total in NCAA Division I this season.

WOLTERS JOINS 2,000-POINT CLUB - Wolters scored 1,628 points in his first three years as a Jackrabbit, including the SDSU sophomore record with 604 points and the junior record with 721 points. He entered his senior season 372 points shy of becoming the first member of the SDSU 2,000-Point Club, which he accomplished with a 22 point game in a win at Western Illinois on Jan. 17. 

WOLTERS SETS FREE THROWS RECORD - Adding to his legacy, Wolters tied the SDSU career free throws made record of 532 at Kansas City on Jan. 3, and then broke the record with his first make at South Dakota on Jan. 5. He enters The Summit League Championship semifinals with an SDSU record 629 in his career.

MORE THAN JUST A SCORER - In addition to his scoring prowess, Wolters set the SDSU career assists record on Feb. 9, at Oakland, when dished out his 606th career assist, topping the old mark of 605, set by Brian Norberg from 1995-99. Wolters enters The Summit League Championship semifinals with 645 dimes in his career. He also ranks tied for fourth all-time at SDSU with 187 steals.

DYKSTRA HITS 1,OOO-POINT MILESTONE - Junior Jordan 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 enters The Summit League Championship semifinals ranked 26th all-time at SDSU with 1,110 points.

JACKS SET FREE THROWS RECORD - The Jackrabbits combined to go a perfect 17-for-17 from the free throw line at Oakland, for a perfect 100 percent free throw percentage. That ties a perfect 14-for-14 night vs. IPFW on Jan. 5, 2008 and a 13-for-13 night against IUPUI on Feb. 7, 2008, both at Frost Arena.

GOOD FOR THREE! - Two 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 .464 percent, while Chad White ranks second with a .441 mark from deep.

THE SUMMIT LEAGUE SEMIFINALS OPPONENT

FORT WAYNE MASTODONS (16-16, 10-6 Summit) - The No. 5 seeded Mastodons advanced to the semifinals with a win over No. 4 seed Oakland on Sunday to increase their league-leading win streak to six games.

THE SERIES vs. FORT WAYNE - SDSU leads the all-time series 10-8 after sweeping the season series in each of the last three seasons. IPFW won the first of two meetings in The Summit League Championship quarterfinals, 71-66 in 2010, but the Jacks evened the tournament series in 2011 with a quarterfinal win. 

THE MASTODONS THE LAST TIME OUT: March 10, vs. Oakland - Fort Wayne jumped out early and rolled to its third victory in three weeks over Oakland, beating the Golden Grizzlies 91-72 in the quarterfinals of The Summit League Tournament Sunday.    

Fort Wayne, the No. 5 seed, improves to 16-16 and boasts the longest win streak in the league, currently at six.

Fort Wayne never trailed in this meeting with Oakland. The Mastodons started hot, hitting eight of their first nine 3-point shots and 13-of-17 shots overall for 76.5 percent and opened a 33-14 lead.

Then things went cold and Oakland climbed back into the game, closing within 38-30 at halftime after Travis Bader hit his first three of the game, then added a free throw, and followed it up with a driving layup just before the buzzer.

Oakland got no closer than seven, 67-60 in the second half.  After Duke Mondy hit a layup for OU making it 78-69 with 3:56 left, IPFW slammed the door, holding the Golden Grizzlies scoreless over the next 2:43 while building the lead to 16, at 85-69.

Frank Gaines led Fort Wayne with 23 points, while Luis Jacobo hit four-of-five 3-point attempts and finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Michael Kibiloski also hit four 3-point attempts and scored 15 points.

Bader led Oakland with 18 points but went just 3-for-12 behind the line. Ryan Bass added 16 points, Dante Williams 14 and Drew Valentine 10.

THE FIRST MEETING: vs. Fort Wayne: Jan. 12, Frost Arena - Tied at 40 with just over 16 minutes to play, South Dakota State outscored Fort Wayne 43-17 down the stretch to secure an 83-57 win in front of 3,355 fans at Frost Arena.  

After shooting 43.8 percent in the first half in going 14-of-32 from the floor, the Jacks shot 72.7 percent in the second half, 16-of-22. Defensively, SDSU allowed the Mastodons to shoot 46.4 percent in the first half, 13-of-28, but held them to just 37.5 percent in the second half, 9-24.

Additionally, the Jacks forced 10 of the Mastodon's 18 turnovers in the second half, which led to 14 of the Jackrabbits total of 23 points off turnovers. IPFW scored 10 points in the game off of 12 SDSU turnovers.

Nate Wolters led all players in the game with 29 points, scoring 16 of them in the second half. Marcus Heemstra tied a career-high with 12 points, eight in the second half, while Chad White scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.

Frank Gaines led a pair of IPFW players in double figures with 18 points. Joe Reed added 15 points in the loss.

THE SECOND MEETING: at Fort Wayne: Feb. 7, Fort Wayne, Ind. - Nate Wolters scored an SDSU single-game record and Division I single-game season-high 53 points and added an SDSU single-game record nine 3-pointers in a come-from-behind 80-74 win at Fort Wayne.

Wolters scored 38 of his points in the second half, finishing the night 17-of-28 shooting overall, 9-of-14 from 3-point range and 10-of-11 from the free throw line.

The 53 points not only tops his previous career-high of 36, but also breaks the SDSU single-game mark of 44 points, set by Dave Thomas against Coe College on March 10, 1973. His nine 3-pointers tops his previous high of five, set in the season-opener at Alabama, and breaks the SDSU mark of eight, a mark set by Jason Sempsrott on Jan. 12, 1996 vs. North Dakota, and by Randy Suarez against Augustana on Feb. 7, 1987.

As for the game, The Jackrabbits came out cold and trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before going into halftime down by eight points at 37-29.

The second half didn't start much better, even after the Jacks cut the lead to six at 37-31 early, IPFW pushed the lead back to 11 points at 44-33 with just over 17 minutes to play.

That's when Wolters and Tony Fiegen, who finished with 11 points, began to get SDSU back in the game with a 17-3 run that got the Jacks to within three at 50-47 with 11:22 to play.

From there, SDSU climbed back to tie the game at 52, the first of seven ties in the second half before Wolters put the Jacks up for good at 70-68 with 1:47 left in the game on his record-tying eighth triple of the game.

SDSU never trailed again, and got some key free throws from Wolters, Fiegen and Chad White to seal the win down the stretch.

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