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Jacks play first-ever league game in Denver

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 01/28/2014 14:34:18
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After dropping back-to-back conference home games for the first time in more than three years, South Dakota State looks to right the ship on the road, with games at Denver and South Dakota on the slate for the week, which starts with the first-ever Summit League contest between the Jackrabbits and Pioneers on Thursday at Magness Arena in Denver at 7 p.m. MT. 

The Jacks look to bounce back after an 85-77 loss to preseason favorite North Dakota State on Saturday at Frost Arena, when the visiting Bison used a 13-2 run to start the second half to turn a 41-37 halftime lead into a 15 point margin that the Jacks could not close.

Brayden Carlson led the Jackrabbits in the loss with 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting, with a 3 of 7 mark from 3-point range. Jordan Dykstra finished with the same mark from the field and from deep to get his 17 points, but did not shoot a free throw, while Carlson went 5 for 6 from the line. Dykstra also led all players in the game with eight rebounds. Chad White added 16 points and Cody Larson 14 points in the loss for the Jacks.

The league’s preseason player of the year, Taylor Braun led all players with 30 points in the game, with Marshall Bjorklund adding 19 and Lawrence Alexander 15 points in the win.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU plays its final game of the first half of The Summit League season at South Dakota on Saturday at 4 p.m.

JACKRABBIT QUICK HITS

• Carlson scored at least 20 points six times this season, all in the last nine games
• Carlson averaged 20.6 points per game over the last nine games
• Carlson needs 28 points to become the 45th Jackrabbit to reach the 1,000 point milestone
• Only Carlson and Larson scored in double figures in each of the last nine games
• Larson averaged 15.8 points per game over the last nine games
• Dykstra needs three rebounds to move from fifth to sixth all-time at SDSU
• Dykstra made his last 18 free throws in a row, with his last miss coming at IUPUI on Jan. 9
• White became the fourth career Jackrabbit to record more than 200 career 3-pointers vs. NDSU on Jan. 25
• White moved from fourth to third in career 3-pointers at SDSU with 205 in the loss to NDSU
• SDSU lost two home league home games in a row for the first time since the 2010-11 season
   – Jan. 8, 2011 vs. Oral Roberts – L, 82-90
   – Jan. 20, 2011 vs. Oakland – L, 88-97
• SDSU lost its first game of the season on Saturday when it shot at least 50 percent from the floor

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. 

DENVER GAME ON ROOT SPORTS – Jackrabbit fans can watch Thursday’s game at Denver on ROOT Sports, which can be found on DirecTV channel 683, Dish Network channel 414 or in the Denver market on Comcast Cable channel 26 or in HD on channel 665.

Marc Stout handles the play-by-play duties for the game, with Greg Lackey as the color commentator.

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

DOUBLE-DOUBLE DROUGHTJordan Dykstra and Cody Larson combined for eight double-doubles over the first 11 games of the season, but Larson’s 13 point, 11 rebound game vs. Western Illinois on Jan. 16 represents the only Jackrabbit double-double over the last nine games.

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 six games this season, all in the last nine games. As a team, one Jackrabbit scored at least 20 points in 14 of team’s 20 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 eighth all-time at SDSU with 1,481 points, eight shy of moving up to seventh.

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 seventh all-time at SDSU with 753 rebounds, three shy of sixth 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 178, 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 25th all-time with 1,134 points, 14 points shy of 24th all-time.

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. He now ranks third all-time at SDSU with 205 career triples

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 28 points to reach the 1,000 point milestone.

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 .447 percent, Chad White ranks fifth with a .414 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the game ranked seventh all-time with a .405 career mark from long range.

TONIGHT’S OPPONENT

DENVER PIONEERS (10-10, 3-2 SUMMIT) – Picked to finish second in The Summit League Preseason Poll, the Pioneers started their first season in the league with an 0-2 mark in league play, with a loss at South Dakota and a loss at home against Fort Wayne

Denver bounced back with three wins in a row; winning at home against IUPUI, and then on the road at Omaha and at Western Illinois last weekend.

THE SERIES vs. DENVER –Series tied 4-4 with each team owning a 3-1 record its home floor. Denver won the last two meetings, winning the last meeting 83-80 on Nov. 28, 2009 at Frost Arena.

THE LAST MEETING: Nov. 28, 2009, Frost Arena  – Denver shot 76 percent from the floor in the second half on 19 of 25 shooting to secure an 83-80 win over South Dakota State in Frost Arena. Combine that total with their 58 percent effort in the first half, and the Pioneers shot 67 percent for the game.

“We’re not going to outrebound a team when they shoot 67 percent, there just isn’t enough defensive rebounds,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “We took good care of the ball, we shot 50 percent, but we have got to get better at shooting free throws.”

The Jacks shot 53 percent for the game on 26 of 49 shooting and committed just seven turnovers, but went 23 for 35 at the free throw line.

In addition to shooting 67 percent overall, the Pioneers shot 64 percent, 9 of 14, from 3-point range. The Jacks shot 38.5 percent from long distance, making five of their 13 attempts.

Anthony Cordova led five Jackrabbits in double figures with 16 points, Clint Sargent scored 15, Tony Fiegen cracked double-digits for the first time with 13, Nate Wolters scored a season-high 12 and Garrett Callahan added 10 in a losing effort. Wolters also led the Jacks with seven rebounds.

Brian Stafford and Nate Rohnert led Denver with 13 points, Chase Hallam and Andrew Hooper both added 11 points in the win.

Denver took and early lead in the game and led by as many as seven points midway through the first half. The Jacks started chipping away at the lead before eventually tying the game at 35 on a Cordova layup with 1:22 left in the half. SDSU got a stop at the other end and then took the lead with one second left on a Wolters free throw.

The Jacks largest lead came when Callahan drained a three-pointer that put SDSU up 66-60 at the 9:08 mark, but Denver countered with a 10-0 run and never trailed again.

Down three with less than ten seconds left, Callahan and Wolters both got potential game tying 3-point shots off, but neither shot found its mark. 

DENVER THE LAST TIME OUT: Jan. 25, at Western Illinois – MACOMB, Ill. - University of Denver senior captain Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas) scored a game-high 17 points and had five assists, leading the Pioneers to a 67-55 over Western Illinois at Western Hall on Saturday night.

Sophomore guard Jalen Love (Wichita, Kan.) scored 14 points, including 11 in the second half, and junior point guard Brett Olson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) added a dozen points for the Pioneers (10-10, 3-2 Summit League).

“It was good following up Thursday’s performance with another good road win,” head coach Joe Scott said. “The consistency is coming, and we need to maintain our focus in that area. Our guys did a good job of capping off a 3-0 week.”

Denver led by as many as 18 points with 13:05 remaining, and Western Illinois (8-12, 2-3 Summit League) could not cut it any closer than nine points the rest of the way, as the Pioneers iced it with nine free throws in the final 2:17.

The Pioneers made 11 steals in the game and outscored WIU 22-7 off turnovers, while limiting themselves to just nine turnovers in the contest.

DU shot 48.8 percent (20-of-41) from the field, 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from three-point range and 80.8 percent (21-of-26) from the free throw line, while Western Illinois hit 41.7 percent (15-of-36) from the floor, 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent (20-of-30) from the line.

Garret Covington led the Leathernecks with 12 points.

After the teams opened the game trading the lead four times, the Pioneers ended the first half on a 21-7 run to take a 28-16 lead into halftime. Denver had six steals and converted 11 WIU turnovers into 13 points before the break.

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