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Jacks welcome Western Illinois Thursday

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 01/16/2014 07:39:18
South Dakota State returns home from a season-long four game road trip to start a season-long three game home stand, starting with its first Summit League home game tonight against the Western Illinois Fighting Leathernecks at 7 p.m.

The Jackrabbits and Leathernecks tied for the regular season Summit League title last year, but the Jacks swept the season series to earn the top seed at The Summit League Championships, where the Jacks went on to earn their second straight title and NCAA Tournament berth.

SDSU posted a 3-1 mark on its season-long road trip, with wins at North Dakota on Dec. 21, at Kansas City on Dec. 28 and at IUPUI in the Summit League opener at Jan. 9.

The lone loss on the trip came last Saturday at IPFW, which opened league play with a win over league preseason favorite North Dakota State.

Brayden Carlson scored a career-high 24 points, but South Dakota State came up on the short end of an 82-75 game at Fort Wayne on Saturday, snapping the Jackrabbits five game overall winning streak and eight game winning streak against the Mastodons.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU continues its three game home stand on Saturday with a 4 p.m. game against the Omaha Mavericks at Frost Arena.  

JACKRABBIT QUICK HITS

• SDSU remains winless on the season when losing the rebounding battle (0-5).
• Carlson scored at least 20 points four times this season, all in the last six games.
• Carlson averaged 20.2 points per game over the last six games.
• Carlson scored a career-high 24 points last Saturday at IPFW.
• Only Carlson and Larson scored in double figures in each of the last six games.
• Larson averaged 16.8 points per game over the last six games.
Jordan Dykstra cracked the career top-10 in points last week at IUPUI, he enters tonight’s game ranked ninth all-time at SDSU with 1,432 points. He needs 17 points to move up to eighth all-time.
• Dykstra cracked the career top-10 in rebounds last week at IPFW, he enters tonight’s game ranked 10th all-time at SDSU with 733 rebounds. He needs five rebounds to move up to seventh all-time.

• Western Illinois last win over SDSU came on Feb. 7, 2009 in Macomb, Ill., by a 62-59 score.
• The Fighting Leathernecks enter the game with an 0-7 all-time mark in Frost Arena.

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

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 as a junior in 2012-13. He posted five double-doubles in the first 11 games this season pushing his all-time total to 16. Cody Larson posted his first career double-double vs. Southwest Minnesota State on Nov. 18, added a second vs. Howard on Nov. 25 and a third on Dec. 4 vs. Dakota State.

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 four games this season, all in the last six games. As a team, one Jackrabbit scored at least 20 points in 11 of team’s 17 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 CLIMBING ALL-TIME SCORING LIST – Senior 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 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 ninth all-time at SDSU with 1,432 points.

DYKSTRA CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER REBOUNDS – Dykstra joined an elite group of Jackrabbits on Jan. 11 at Fort Wayne, when he became just the fourth player in school history to rank in the top-10 in points and rebounds in a career. He enters tonight’s game ranked 10th all-time at SDSU with 733 rebounds, but needs just five more to move up to seventh on the 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 172, 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 tonight’s game ranked 27th all-time with 1,106 points, but needs just eight points to move up two spots on the list.

WHITE CLIMBS CAREER 3-POINT FG CHARTSChad 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 needs five more triples to pass Garrett Callahan for third on the list.

CARLSON EYES 1,000-POINT CLUB – 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, he now needs 92 points to reach the 1,000 point milestone, or just over seven points per game for the rest of the season.

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 .455 percent, Chad White ranks fifth with a .413 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the game ranked seventh all-time with a .404 career mark from long range.

TONIGHT’S OPPONENT

WESTERN ILLINOIS FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS (7-9, 1-0 SUMMIT) – Picked to finish fourth in The Summit League Preseason Poll, the Leathernecks tied the Jackrabbits for the best record in the league last year at 13-3, but the Jacks swept the season series to earn the top seed in the league tournament. Western opened league play last week with an overtime win over Omaha in Macomb, Ill.

THE SERIES vs. WESTERN ILLINOIS – The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 12-3, with wins in each of the last nine meetings, which includes season sweeps in the last four seasons and a 52-50 overtime win in The Summit League Championships on March 6, 2012.

THE LAST MEETING: Feb. 16, 2013, Frost Arena – South Dakota State celebrated Senior Night in the 41st Annual Pork Classic, and everyone left full and happy after the Jackrabbits closed out the home schedule with a 64-55 win over Western Illinois in front of a sellout crowd of 6,103 at Frost Arena.

“Senior day is always hard for me, really hard for me, because it means that I have to let go of some kids that we’ve asked a lot of, have been hard on and pushed, but that we love,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “These two guys, Nate and Tony, have impacted my life, and it isn’t just about basketball, it’s just not. They’re great young men. Their parents did a great job raising them and they impacted our whole team. They helped lift our program to a different level.”

The win didn’t come easy for the Jacks, despite an early 19-3 run that put them up 19-7 with 6 minutes, 54 seconds to play in the first half. The Fighting Leathernecks halved that margin before halftime, when SDSU took a 25-19 lead into the locker room.

“As you would expect, it was a grind. They never give you anything easy. They’re good,” Nagy said. “We weren’t very good defensively in the second half, we were in the first half. We shot 29 percent and were up six at half, I felt pretty good. I knew we would loosen up offensively in the second half, I just didn’t realize that we’d be as bad defensively in the second half, but we made enough plays offensively to win the game.”

Western kept that momentum at the start of the second half and used a 14-5 run to take a 33-30 lead with 15:39 left to play, but the Jacks responded with a 17-6 run to push the lead back to 47-39 with 7:46 left.

The Leathernecks would get as close as two points at 49-47 with 4:15 to play, but the Jacks outscored the visitors 15-8 down the stretch to secure their second straight perfect home record and 30th consecutive home win.

Wolters led all players in the win with 28 points and with six assists. Jordan Dykstra finished with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season and second in a row. Brayden Carlson finished with 11 points in the win.

Ceola Clark III led the Leathernecks with 20 points, while Adam Link added 12 points in the loss, which drops Western to 19-6 overall and to 11-3 in league play.

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