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Final road trip starts with a rematch in Omaha

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/11/2014 14:36:33
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South Dakota State embarks on its final regular season road trip this week, playing the first two in a three game road swing, starting on Thursday at Omaha, followed by a game at Western Illinois on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m. The Jackrabbits then close the road trip with a game at North Dakota State next weekend in Fargo, N.D.

The Jacks hit the road riding a four game winning streak, and can equal their longest winning streak of the season, and avenge a Jan. 18 loss at Frost Arena, with a win over the Mavericks.

The winning streak started with an improbable comeback at Denver on Jan. 30, when SDSU erased a 10 point second half deficit, and got 14 points from Jordan Dykstra in the final three minutes to secure a 74-73 win over the Pioneers. SDSU followed that up with a win over South Dakota two days later, when the Jacks trailed by one at halftime, but led by 15 points in the second half and then held off a late Coyote rally to hold on for a 70-68 win at the DakotaDome.

SDSU returned home for a pair of games last weekend, and ran away with wins over Fort Wayne on Thursday and IUPUI on Saturday. The Jacks dominated in both games, downing the Mastodons 79-51 and the Jaguars 83-59 at Frost Arena.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU plays at Western Illinois on Saturday at 7 p.m., and then plays its final road game of the regular season next Saturday at North Dakota State.   

JACKRABBIT QUICK HITS

• With 150 career 3-pointers, Carlson needs one more to crack the SDSU career top-10
• Dykstra holds the longest active streak of double figure scoring for SDSU with 10 games in a row
• SDSU committed a season-low four turnovers vs. IUPUI on Saturday
• Dykstra made 32 consecutive free throws from Jan. 9-Feb. 1 before missing his 33rd attempt at South Dakota
• Dykstra made 46 of his last 48 free throw attempts dating back to Jan. 9, 2013 (96 percent)
• Dykstra is 47 for 50 from the free throw line in Summit League play (94 percent)
• Garrett Callahan made 35 straight free throws over 11 games from Jan. 29-March 7, 2009
• SDSU plays out the season with a trio of 1,000 point scorers for the first time since the final two games of 2010, when Garrett Callahan, Kai Williams and Clint Sargent all played with at least 1,000 career points

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

DOUBLE-DOUBLE DIFFERENCEJordan Dykstra and Cody Larson combined for eight double-doubles over the first 11 games of the season, but for just two over the last 13 games. Larson’s 13 point, 11 rebound game vs. Western Illinois on Jan. 16, and Dykstra’s 16 point, 11 rebound game on Feb. 1, represent the only Jackrabbit double-double over the last 13 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 seven games this season, all in the last 12 games. As a team, one Jackrabbit scored at least 20 points in 15 of team’s 24 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 CRACKS TOP-FIVE ON SCORING LISTJordan 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 fifth all-time at SDSU with 1,550 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 the week ranked sixth all-time at SDSU with 774 rebounds, 30 shy of fifth 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 183, 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 today’s game ranked 23rd all-time with 1,170 points, nine points shy of 22nd all-time at SDSU.

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 vs. Western Illinois on Jan. 16. He now ranks third all-time at SDSU with 216 career triples

CARLSON HITS 1,000 POINT MILESTONE – 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, 344 shy of the milestone, which he hit at the free throw line at South Dakota on Feb. 1. He enters tonight’s game ranked 39th all-time at SDSU, but needs just 11 points to climb two spots on the list.

CARLSON NEARS TOP-10 IN CAREER 3-POINTERS – Carlson enters tonight’s game with 150 career 3-pointers, one shy of joining both White and Dykstra on the career top-10 list at SDSU.

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 .450 percent, Chad White ranks fifth with a .415 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the game ranked seventh all-time with a .404 career mark from long range.

THREE IN 1,000-POINT CLUB – The Jacks play with three members of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club, the first time since 2010, when Clint Sargent, Garrett Callahan and Kai Williams played the final two games of the season with at least 1,000 career points. Prior to that trio, the Jacks last played with three 1,000 point scorers during the 1968-69 season when John Thomas, Guy Mackner and Gene Zulk all played with 1,000 career points.

TONIGHT’S OPPONENT

OMAHA MAVERICKS (15-9, 4-4 Summit) – Not yet eligible for postseason play, Omaha looks to play spoiler for teams looking to improve their seeding for next month’s Summit League Championships. Following their win over the Jackrabbits on Jan. 18, the Mavericks lost two of their next three games, with a 74-60 loss at Denver and an 86-82 loss at IPFW sandwiched around a 77-73 home win over South Dakota.

From there, Omaha won its next three games, which includes a win at IUPUI, and home wins over Peru State and Western Illinois last week.  

THE SERIES vs. OMAHA – The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 48-32 after sweeping the season series last season. SDSU won the first meeting last season 78-63 at Frost Arena on Dec. 1, 2012, and then capped the regular season with a 100-82 win in Omaha on Feb. 28, 2013.

Omaha won the first meeting of the season at Frost Arena on Jan. 18 by a score of 80-71.

THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SEASON; Jan. 18, 2014; Frost ArenaBrayden Carlson set a career-high with 26 points and tied a South Dakota State single-game record by going 12 for 12 from the free throw line against Omaha in the 22nd Annual Lamb Bonanza, but the Jackrabbits struggled from 3-point range in an 80-71 loss to Omaha.

“I think Omaha was just tougher in every aspect, and I felt like we needed to make some adjustments as a coaching staff and we didn’t,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “We should’ve tried some zone (defense) to try and throw them off their rhythm, because we weren’t’ getting any stops defensively, but in the end, I think they were just the better basketball team in every aspect.”

The Jackrabbits first Summit League loss at home since Jan. 27, 2011, a string of 21 games, drops them to 10-9 overall and to an even 2-2 in league, while the Mavericks improve to 11-7 overall and to 1-2 in the league.

Omaha came out hot, shooting nearly 54 percent in the first half, 14 of 26, while the Jacks shot 27 percent on 7 of 26 shooting in the half. Only a 14 for 16 mark from the free throw line kept SDSU in the game in the first half, as Omaha went 6 for 11 from the charity stripe in the opening half before taking a 39-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Jacks improved greatly in the second half to shoot an even 50 percent on 17 of 34 shooing, but they struggled for 3-point range, going a season-low 3 for 19 for the game, 15.8 percent.

The visiting Mavericks also shot better in the second half though, connecting on 16 of their 28 shots, 57 percent, and finished the game 4 for 13 from long range, 31 percent.

Along with Carlson and his 26 points, the Jacks got 14 points from Cody Larson, 12 from Jordan Dykstra, who also finished with a game-high 9 rebounds, and 10 from Jake Bittle.

Omaha’s Marcus Tyrus led four Mavericks in double figures with 16 points; CJ Carter added 15, Justin Simmons 12 points off the bench and John Karhoff 11 points in the win.

THE MAVERICKS THE LAST TIME OUT: Feb. 8, vs. Western Illinois – OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha men’s basketball team defeated Western Illinois Saturday, 71-60, in front of 1,083 fans at Ralston Arena. With the victory, Omaha has improves to 15-9 (4-4 Summit League) with a three-game win streak. The Leathernecks, who have dropped six of their last nine games, fall to 9-14 (3-5 Summit League).

The Mavericks were led by seniors Justin Simmons and John Karhoff. Both put up 19 points and shot a combined 13-for-29 from the field, accounting for more than half the teams’ field goals. Simmons added three assists and went a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line, while Karhoff finished with eight boards in 33 minutes of action.

Both junior guard CJ Carter (10) and junior forward Mike Rostampour (10) also finished with double-figure scoring for Omaha. Carter dished out four assists and didn’t miss from the foul line, going 6-of-6. Rostampour grabbed seven rebounds to help his cause and shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the field.

Garret Covington paced Western Illinois on offense, as he finished with a game-high 21 points with four 3-pointers and six rebounds. Jabari Sandifer had 14 points and five rebounds for the Leathernecks, and Michael Ochereobia had nine points, six boards and four blocked shots.

Western Illinois shot 5-of-8 in the first half and was aided by a trio of threes from Covington, who scored the Leathernecks’ first nine points and had 14 total in the opening stanza. Karhoff countered for Omaha, notching 13 points and five rebounds in the first half, while sophomore guard Devin Patterson had eight with two 3-pointers, and Simmons added another six.

A jumper by Adam Link tied the game at 13-13, but Patterson fired up his second three of the half to put UNO on top again. Senior guard Alex Phillips then knocked down a trey of his own, stole the ball from Western on the next possession and sent it down for a Carter layup that made it 19-13. Omaha took its first double-digit lead with a Patterson jumper that made it 30-20, and the Mavericks went into the locker room holding a 35-28 advantage. 

The Mavericks maintained their lead until Covington hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 10:57 to go, knotting the score at 43-43. But UNO roared back, taking advantage with its only 3-pointer of the second half when Simmons sunk a deep three with 6:28 remaining to put Omaha ahead for good, 50-47. Omaha extended its lead to 11, its largest of the game, at 69-58 with 0:38 left on a power jam by Simmons, then went on to take the 71-60 win.

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