Jacks Hosts Central Michigan Sunday
The Jackrabbits beat No. 12/12 Penn State, 83-79, Wednesday, marking the second time a ranked foe has lost in Frost Arena in the last two years.
The Chippewas have been idle since an exciting win in their home opener Dec. 5. They beat Dayton, 94-91 on a fall-away three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left on the clock.
Both South Dakota State (20th) and Central Michigan (17th) are ranked in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll.
TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS
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-South Dakota State plays the second game of its second three-game homestand of the season Sunday. It went 3-0 in November, beating Georgetown, Northern Iowa and Pepperdine, and is 1-0 during the December homestand.
-The Jackrabbits will be protecting a pair of streaks Sunday. They own an eight-game home winning streak and a modest three-game winning streak. Central Michigan has won its last two games, but is 1-2 on the road this year.
-The Chippewas’ 3-4 record is a little deceptive as they have played a tough nonconference schedule so far. They lost at No. 7/8 Kentucky and vs. No. 2/2 Duke in November, but 10 of their 12 nonconference games are against postseason teams from a year ago, including eight games vs. NCAA Tournament foes.
-SDSU enters the contest holding opponents to just 60.8 points per game at home. Central Michigan averages 83.6 points per game on the road after beating Massachusetts, 105-61, and losing at Kentucky, 96-74, and at Marquette, 84-72.
A Quick Glance at South Dakota State
-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. Central Michigan are senior Hannnah Strop (2.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (8.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (5.1 ppg, 3.3 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (10 ppg, 2.1 apg). The lineup sports a 6-4 record.
-Waytashek has scored in double figures in nine of 11 games, and seven other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games. Waytashek and junior Megan Stuart have SDSU’s only 20-plus point games this season. Clarin recorded the Jacks’ second double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds at Wis.-Green Bay Dec. 7.
-SDSU is shooting 40.5 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from three-point range and 69.8 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 69.6 points per game and limiting opponents to 65.7 points per game.
-The Jacks have a deep squad with 10 players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 29.6 points per outing this season.
-Central Michigan is 3-4 on the season after beating Dayton in its home opener, 94-91, Dec. 5. Junior Crystal Bradford hit a fall-away three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left on the clock for the win. In its win over Xavier Nov. 30, it broke the school record for three-point field goals with 18.
-Picked to win the Mid-American Conference West Division, Central Michigan had two players named to the preseason team. Bradford and junior guard Jessica Green were honored on the first team.
-This past summer, Bradford won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2013 World University Games.
-Central Michigan has two players averaging 14 points-or-more. Bradford leads the team in scoring (19.7) while senior guard Niki DiGuilio is averaging 14.7 points per game. On the boards, junior forward Jas ‘Mine Bracey grabs a team-high 10.7 caroms, and Green dishes a team-best 4.1 assists per game.
-The Chippewas are shooting 39 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three-point range and 60.8 percent from the free-throw line.
-Last season, Central Michigan finished with records of 21-12 overall and 12-4 in the Mid-American Conference, finishing tied for second. It reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but lost to Oklahoma, 78-73.
-Central Michigan returns three starters, 12 letterwinners, and adds three freshmen.
Central Michigan Series
-Sunday’s game marks the second meeting between South Dakota State and Central Michigan in women’s basketball.
-The Chippewas hold a 1-0 series lead after beating the Jacks, 88-62, Nov. 23, 2012, in Mount Pleasant, Mich.