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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Jacks open Tournament against Western Illinois

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 03/06/2014 16:32:51
The two-time defending Summit League Tournament Champions, South Dakota State enters The Summit League Championships as the No. 3 seed, and opens the tournament against No. 6 seed Western Illinois in a rematch of the 2012 championship game that the Jackrabbits won 52-50 in overtime.

The Jackrabbits swept the season series with the Fighting Leathernecks, beating them 64-55 at Frost Arena on Jan. 16, and 62-50 in Macomb, Ill., on Feb. 15.

For all the latest and up-to-date information, log onto Jackrabbit Tournament Central on GoJacks.com

Winners of eight of its last nine games, SDSU enters the tournament after completing the season sweep of Denver with a 78-69 win on Thursday, and a season sweep of South Dakota on Saturday, when the Jackrabbits honored their four seniors after a 75-61 win over the Coyotes.

All five Jackrabbit starters scored in double figures on Saturday, led by Jordan Dykstra and his 19 points. He also added a game-high 10 rebounds for his league-leading eighth double-double of the season. Brayden Carlson added 15 points, Jake Bittle 13, Cody Larson 12 and Chad White 10 points in the win. 

The four Jackrabbit seniors, Carlson, Dykstra, White and Marcus Heemstra, enter the tournament with an 89-41 record over the last four years, which includes a 48-8 mark at Frost Arena. 

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – No. 3 seed SDSU plays No. 2 seed IPFW or No. 7 seed IUPUI in the tournament semifinals on Monday at 8:30 p.m.


• Larson holds the longest active streak of double figure scoring for SDSU with seven games in a row
• Dykstra made 32 straight free throws from Jan. 9-Feb. 1 before missing his 33rd attempt at USD
• Dykstra missed more free throws at Western Illinois, four, than he did in the previous 10 games combined

• Dykstra became the third Jackrabbit in history with 1,500 points and 800 rebounds in a career vs. Denver on Feb. 27
• Carlson and Dykstra became the first CoSIDA Academic All-Americans for SDSU men’s basketball since 2000

• Carlson played at least 35 minutes in 22 of the team’s 29 games this season
• SDSU finished at least +10 in rebounding margin in eight of the last nine games
Marcus Heemstra scored all eight bench points for SDSU over the last two games
• Western Illinois last beat SDSU Feb. 7, 2009 - 62-59 in Macomb, Ill.
• Tonight’s game marks the third postseason meeting between SDSU and Western Illinois
• SDSU won its only meeting with Western Illinois at The Summit League Championships (2012 championship game)
• SDSU beat WIU 98-86 on Feb. 29, 1980 in the NCAA Div. II North Central Regional Tournament in Brookings
• 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


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.


Jackrabbit Athletics: @SDSU_Jacks
Men’s Basketball: @JackrabbitHoops


Jackrabbit Athletics: SDSU Jackrabbit Nation
Men’s Basketball: South Dakota State University Men’s Basketball


CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS – Both Brayden Carlson and Jordan Dykstra earned Capital One, CoSIDA Academic All-American honors on Feb. 20, making them the first SDSU men’s basketball players to earn the honor since 2000. Carlson earned a first team selection, with Dykstra making the second team. 

THREE JACKS EARN ALL-LEAGUE HONORS – South Dakota State landed a trio of players on the All-Summit League teams, with Jordan Dykstra earning a spot on the first team and Brayden Carlson and Cody Larson earned spots on the second team. Larson also played his way onto the all-newcomer team. The second team honors mark the first for both Larson and Carlson, while Dykstra earned a first team selection for the first time after a pair of second team selections following his sophomore and junior seasons.

DOUBLE-DOUBLES –Three Jackrabbits combined for 14 double-doubles on the season. Jordan Dykstra led the Jacks, and The Summit League, with eight, Cody Larson finished the regular season with five and Jake Bittle one. Dykstra and Larson both posted double-doubles in wins over Southwest Minnesota State and Howard, while Larson and Bittle both finished with one at Omaha.

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 eight games this season. As a team, one Jackrabbit scored at least 20 points in 17 of team’s 29 games, with at least two players scoring 20 points in two games.

FIVE IN DOUBLE FIGURES – The Jacks put five players in double figures in three games this season, all at home and all wins; vs. Southwest Minnesota State on Nov. 18, vs. Belmont on Dec. 14 and vs. South Dakota on March 1.

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 entered the 2013-14 season ranked 23rd all-time at SDSU with 1,149 points. He cracked the career top-10 on Jan. 9 at IUPUI and enters tonight’s game ranked fifth all-time at SDSU with 1,624 points.

DYKSTRA CRACKS TOP-FIVE ON REBOUNDS LIST – Dykstra joined an elite group of Jackrabbits on Jan. 11 at Fort Wayne, when he became the fourth player in school history to rank in the top-10 in points and rebounds in a career. He became just the third player in SDSU history with at least 1,500 points and 800 rebounds in a career in the Jacks win over Denver on Feb. 27, when he grabbed his 800th career rebound, and enters tonight’s game ranked fourth all-time at SDSU with 817 rebounds.

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 today’s game with 186, good for sixth all-time.

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 21st all-time with 1,214 points.

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 with 222 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 today’s game ranked 34th all-time at SDSU with 1,078 points, 14 shy of moving up three spots to 31st all-time, and 21 points shy of moving up to 28th all-time.

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 .445 percent, Chad White ranks fifth with a .410 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the game tied for 10th all-time with a .395 career mark from long range. All three players also rank in the SDSU career top-10 in career 3-pointers made; White ranks third with 224, Dykstra sixth with 187 and Carlson 10th with 154.

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.


WESTERN ILLINOIS FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS (10-19, 4-10 Summit) – Picked to finish fourth in The Summit League Preseason Poll, the Fighting Leathernecks slipped to seventh in the final league standings, but enter the tournament with a No. 6 seed due to Omaha, which finished sixth in the league standings, not being eligible for the tournament.

THE SERIES vs. WESTERN ILLINOIS – The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 14-3, with wins in each of the last 11 meetings, which includes season sweeps in the last five seasons.

The Jackrabbits won the only meeting between the two schools in The Summit League Championships, a 52-50 overtime win in The Summit League Championship game on March 6, 2012.   

Tonight’s game marks the third postseason meeting with the Leathernecks, as the two teams met in the Division II North Central Regional on Feb. 29, 1980, which the Jacks won 98-86.     

THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SEASON; JAN. 16, 2014; South Dakota State opened its Summit League home opener with an 11-2 run over Western Illinois at Frost Arena, but the Jackrabbits didn’t run away with a win with a 64-55 win over the Fighting Leathernecks, who made the Jacks earn the victory.

“We weren’t very good offensive, particularly in the second half, you have to give them some credit, they played physical,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “When you look at the stats; we outrebounded them, we took care of the ball better, we shot way more free throws than they shot, and when you do those things, you’re probably going to win the basketball game.”

The Jackrabbits won the rebounding battle 32-26, committed three fewer turnovers and went 20 for 22 from the free throw line compared to a 12 for 18 night for the Leathernecks from the line.

Western Illinois answered the Jacks opening run with a 13-4 run to force the game’s only tie at 15-all with 10 minutes, 49 seconds left in the first half.

SDSU scored the next six points, and took a 34-27 lead into the locker room after a Brayden Carlson to Cody Larson alley-oop dunk off an inbound pass with less than a second to go in the half.

The Jacks shot 44.8 percent in the first half in going 13 for29 from the floor, compared to 35.3 percent in the second half on 6 of 17 shooting, but held the Leathernecks to 34.8 percent shooting in the second half, 8 of 23, after they went 10 for 20 in the opening frame.

The first half momentum carried over to the second half for the Jacks, which started with Chad White’s 200th career 3-pointer, part of a 10-2 run for that gave SDSU its largest lead of the game at 44-29, but Western stayed focused, and started its climb back into the game.

Up 50-40 with 9:10 to play, Western cut the lead to five at 53-48 with 6:33 to play, and again with 4:49 to play, but the Jacks didn’t let them get any closer for the rest of the game.

Jordan Dykstra led the Jacks with an even 20 points, including a perfect 10 for10 mark from the free throw line, Carlson added 16 points and Larson 13 points to go with his game-high 11 rebounds, which gives him his fourth double-double of the season.

Garret Covington led all players in the game with 24 points in a losing effort.

THE SECOND MEETING OF THE SEASON; FEB. 15, 2014; MACOMB, Ill. – South Dakota State pushed its win streak to a season-long six games with a 62-50 win at Western Illinois behind a solid defensive effort and a double-double from Jordan Dykstra.

“This has been the formula for us, I think when you look back at the past six games; we just crushed our opponents on the glass and the past four games we’ve held our opponents shooting percentage in the 30s. Our kids are getting it,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “When you shoot 37 percent and you win by 12, you guarded and you rebounded, that’s what’s winning games for us, and that’s how you have to do it on the road.”

The Jackrabbits did all of that, holding the Fighting Leathernecks to 32 percent shooting, 15 of 47, and winning the rebounding battle 44-27, which all made up for a tough shooting night that saw the Jacks shoot just 37 percent overall, 17 of 46, 2-10 from 3-point range and 16 for 36 from the free throw line, 72 percent.

The home team didn’t fare much better from deep or from the charity stripe, finishing 4 of 17 from long range, 23.5 percent, and 16 for 26 from the foul line, 61.5 percent.

Down three early, SDSU put together a 12-4 run for its largest lead of the first half at 16-11 with 9 minutes, 4 second s left to play in the first half, but the Leathernecks fought back and regained the lead late before taking a 24-23 lead into halftime.

Cody Larson scored on the first possession of the second half to put the Jacks backup by one, the first of two ties and three lead changes in the first five minutes of the second half, before Jake Bittle put the Jacks up for good at 30-28 with 15:21 left to play, part of a 13-3 run that ended with SDSU leading 38-30 with 12:13 on the clock.

The SDSU lead hovered around the 10 point mark with the remainder of the game, with the Leathernecks getting no closer than six points for the duration of the contest.

Dykstra led all players in the game with 20 points and with 13 rebounds, with Bittle adding 18 points, eight rebounds and a team-high three assists, and Larson 11 points and seven rebounds in the win.

Garret Covington and Mike Miklusak both led Western Illinois with 12 points, with Jabari Sandifer adding 11 points and a game-high four assists in the loss.

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