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Jacks and Leathernecks clash on Senior Night

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/15/2013 14:30:17
South Dakota State hosts Summit League leader Western Illinois on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. in the Jackrabbits final home game of the season in the 41st Annual Pork Classic and on senior night, when the Jacks honor seniors Tony Fiegen and Nate Wolters in a ceremony after the game in Frost Arena. 

A win by the Jackrabbits on Saturday, coupled with a win on Feb. 28, at Omaha in the regular season finale would secure the No. 1 seed for the Jacks at The Summit League Championships, while a Western Illinois win put the Fighting Leathernecks in position for the No. 1 seed, as they end the regular season at home against Kansas City and South Dakota.

THE LAST TIME OUT; Feb. 14, vs. IUPUI: South Dakota State ran away with its 20th win of the season on Saturday night at Frost Arena, using a balanced offensive attack and stifling defense to cruise to an 82-45 win over IUPUI.

The Jackrabbits, who improve to 20-7 on the season overall and to 11-3 in The Summit League, shot 53.8 percent for the game, going 28-of-52 from the floor and 11-for-22 from beyond the arc.

On the defensive end, the Jacks held the Jaguars to 35.8 percent shooting, 19-for-53, and to just 18.8 percent from long distance, 3-for-16.

On top of that, SDSU finished plus 19 on the glass, 40-21, thanks largely to Jordan Dykstra, who led all players with a career-high 15 rebounds to go along with his 14 points for his team-best sixth double-double of the season. He also tied for game-high honors with four assists.

Nate Wolters led the Jackrabbit offense with 18 points, adding four rebounds and a pair of assists in 27 minutes on the floor, 10 minutes below his season average.

Chad White also finished with 14 points after going 5-for-5 from the floor, with four of those makes coming from behind the 3-point line.

Donovan Gibbs led the visitors with 16 points and with six rebounds in the loss, which drops the Jaguars to 6-21 overall and to 1-12 in league play.

The Jackrabbits closed the first half on a 14-3 run to take a 41-21 lead into the locker room at halftime, and then extended the run to 21-3 early in the second half to push the lead to 48-21 with 17 minutes, 50 seconds left in the game.

SDSU lead by as many as 40 points on two occasions late in the game in salting away the team's school record 29th consecutive home win and second straight 20-win season.

The Jackrabbits return to action on Saturday in the 41st Annual Pork Classic against league-leading Western Illinois. The Jacks also plan to honor seniors Tony Fiegen and Wolters in a ceremony after the game.

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 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.

NOTEWORTHY

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.

So far this season, SDSU played a total of seven games decided by three or fewer points, posting an 3-4 record in those games.

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 - CousyAward.com

ELITE COMPANY - Nate Wolters entered the week on pace to become the first player since the NCAA began keeping assists as an official statistic (1983-84) to average 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in two separate seasons. In 2011-12, he averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game and became the fifth to achieve a 20-5-5 season. Wolters' 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 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 ERUPTS! - In the Jacks 80-74 win at Fort Wayne on Feb. 7, Wolters set SDSU single-game records with 53 points and 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. It also represents the highest single-game total in NCAA Division I this season.

PERFECT AT HOME - The Jackrabbits entered the season with 17 straight home wins, and with 12 in a row at home this season, set the school and Summit League record for consecutive home wins with 29.  The Jacks home winning streak ranks second in the nation behind Syracuse with 37. 

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.

DYKSTRA DOUBLES UP - After posting a single double-double in each of his first two seasons, junior Jordan Dykstra posted double-doubles in six games this season, all Jackrabbit wins, with the last being a 14-point, 15 rebound night in the Jacks win over IUPUI on Feb. 14. 

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 first 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 set 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. In addition to the career record, Wolters set the SDSU single game scoring record with a 53-point outburst at Fort Wayne on Thursday, when he also set the SDSU single-game record with nine 3-pointers.

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 532 at Kansas City on Jan. 3, and then broke the record with his first make at South Dakota on Jan. 5. He enters tonight's game with an SDSU record 605 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 tonight's game with 611 dimes in his career.

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 game ranked 34th all-time at SDSU with 1,049 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! - Three of the top-10 three-point shooters in SDSU history, based on three-point field goal percentage, currently play for the Jackrabbits. Jordan Dykstra leads the way with .469 percent, Chad White ranks third with a .432 mark from deep and Brayden Carlson comes tied for ninth, shooting .395 for his career.

SATURDAY'S OPPONENT

WESTERN ILLINOIS FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS (19-5, 11-2 SUMMIT) - Winners of 16 of its last 18 games, the only blemishes on the Western Illinois Schedule in that span came with a home loss to SDSU on Jan. 17, and a road loss at Oakland on Jan. 26. The Leathernecks, who beat North Dakota State 49-36 on Thursday, come to Frost riding a three-game winning streak.

THE SERIES vs. WESTERN ILLINOIS - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 11-3 with wins in each of the last eight meetings, which includes a 52-50 overtime win in the 2012 Summit League Tournament Championship in Sioux Falls, S.D., on March 6, giving SDSU an NCAA Tournament bid, and a 59-53 win in the first meeting of the season on Jan. 17 in Macomb, Ill.

THE LEATHERNECKS THE LAST TIME OUT: Feb. 14, at NDSU - FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Terell Parks scored 13 points and pulled down 15 rebounds Thursday night, helping Western Illinois dominate the second half of a 49-36 victory over North Dakota State and hold onto first place in The Summit League.

Adam Link scored 14 points for the Leathernecks (19-5, 11-2), who stayed a half-game ahead of South Dakota State and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Bison (19-7, 10-4).

Lawrence Alexander and TrayVonn Wright scored 10 apiece for the Bison, whose point total marked their lowest ever at Bison Sports Arena, which opened in 1970.

NDSU closed the first half on a 10-0 run to lead 22-17 at halftime, but WIU scored 13 straight points just after halftime to go ahead for good. The Bison pulled within 35-31 on Alexander's free throws with 4:14 left, but the Leathernecks scored the next eight points to seal the victory.

THE LAST MEETING: at Western Illinois; Jan. 17, 2013 - Not only did Nate Wolters become the first Jackrabbit in history to score 2,000 career points, but South Dakota State also handed Western Illinois its first Summit League loss and snapped the Fighting Leathernecks 11 game winning streak 59-53 win.

The rematch of last season's Summit League Tournament Championship featured 13 lead changes and eight tie scores, with neither team leading by more than six at any point in the game. The Leathernecks led by six after a pair of early 3-pointers at 8-2, the Jacks got their first of two six point leads on a pair of Jordan Dykstra free throws with 31 seconds left in the game, and the other on a pair of Chad White charity tosses with 22 seconds left.

Wolters, who came in 12 points shy of 2,000 for his career, led all players in the game with 22 points, and hit the milestone from the free throw line with 2:04 left in the first half.

Dykstra overcame a slow start to score 12 points in the win, 10 of them in the second half, adding six rebounds. White and Tony Fiegen both finished with 10 points, with White tying a career-high mark with nine rebounds, which led all SDSU players.

Jack Houpt led a trio of Leathernecks in double figures with 16 points. Terell Parks added 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Adam Link finished with 13 points in the loss.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU takes a weeklong break from Summit League play with games at CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday in Bakersfield, Calif., at 7 p.m. PT, followed by a game at Murray State on Saturday in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters, a game that can be seen live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.   

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