The regular season continues to wind down for South Dakota State, as the Jackrabbits play just three more games before The Summit League Championships begin in March. The final three starts with a Thursday affair in Fort Wayne, Ind., where the Jacks look to get their first-ever road win at IPFW on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.
The task doesn't get any easier on Saturday, when SDSU travels to league-leader and defending league champion Oakland, who hosts North Dakota State on Thursday riding a 27-game home winning streak. The Jacks and Golden Grizzlies tip-off on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
The Jacks sent seniors Dale Moss, Clint Sargent and Payton Tivis out in style on Saturday night, and all three contributed to the Jackrabbits 82-61 win over Western Illinois in front of 3,885 fans at Frost Arena.
Despite the Senior Night celebrations, freshman Jordan Dykstra stole the show for the Jacks, leading all players with 20 points, all in the second half, 10 of which came from the free throw line, where he made all 10 shots
Griffan Callahan added 13 points, Chad White 12, while Sargent and Tony Fiegen both finished with 10 points, as every Jackrabbit logged at least 15 minutes on the floor. Sargent also tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds.
The Jacks fell into an early 5-0 hole to open the game, but quickly bounced back with a 13-1 run and continued to pour it on, leading by as many as 20 points on two occasions in the first half before taking a 46-30 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.
The lead continued to grow in the second half, reaching a game high of 28 points on a Brayden Carlson dunk that put the Jacks up 67-39.
Wolters leads the Jackrabbit offense through 26 games with 18.4 points per game, with 160 assists and 36 steals. Sargent averages 15.8 points per game and adds 3.1 rebounds. Jordan Dykstra averages 10.6 points per game and leads the team with 5.2 rebounds per game and with 16 blocks.
JACKRABBITS AMONG THE NATION'S BEST - The Jackrabbits enter the week ranked third nationally with 10.2 turnovers per game and with a .424 three-point field goal percentage. SDSU also ranks fifth nationall with 9.2 three-point field goals per game and with a 1.54 assists to turnover ratio. In addition to the top-five rankings, the Jacks rank eigth in the nation with a 4.4 turnover margin and 10th in scoring offense with 81.6 points per game.
Individually, Nate Wolters ranks 13th in the nation with a 2.86 assist to turnover ratio and 14th with 6.2 assists per game, while Clint Sargent ranks 15th nationally with 2.9 three-pointers per game and 22nd with a .422 three-point field goal percentage.
CLIMBING THE 1,000 POINT CLUB LADDER - Jackrabbit Senior Clint Sargent became the 41st member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club on Feb. 25, 2010, in the Jacks 66-53 win over Western Illinois in Frost Arena.
Sargent started the season tied for 33rd on the all-time list with 1,035 points, but enters the week ranked seventh all-time with 1,447 points, three shy of passing former teammate Garrett Callahan (1,449 points from 2006-10) for sixth on the all-time list, and to become the most prolific scorer at SDSU in the Division I era.
SARGENT SETS THREE-POINT RECORD, EYES ANOTHER - In addition to his climb up the all-time scoring charts, senior Clint Sargent broke the SDSU career three-point record in the Jacks win at Centenary on Feb. 5. Sargent enters the week with 236 career three-pointers, after breaking the SDSU career record of 235, set by Jackrabbit assistant Austin Hansen from 2000-03.
Each three-pointer now brings Sargent closer to the SDSU single-season three-point record of 85, set by Hansen in 2003 and Andy Moeller in 2004. Sargent enters the week with 76 three-point makes this season, 10 shy of setting a new mark.
LONG DISTANCE RECORD FALLS - Not only can Sargent take credit for the individual three-point record, he played a large part in another long distance record. The Jackrabbits broke the SDSU team record for three-point field goals in a single season at Centenary with 222, breaking the old mark of 218, set during the 2008-09 season.
RABBITS ON THE RADIO - Originated from the AM 570 WNAX studios in Yankton, S.D., SDSU men's basketball games can be heard 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
• 950 AM KWAT or 96.9 FM KDLO - Watertown
• 99.5 FM - KRKI - Rapid City
Six-time winner of the South Dakota Associated Press Sportscaster of the Year and 1998 National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year, Steve Imming returns for his 20th season as the play-by-play voice of the Jackrabbits.
THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA ON GoJacks.com - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com watch every Jackrabbit 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 learn more about the Jackrabbit Extra, or to subscribe, 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 Jackrabbit sports teams by tuning into "The Jackrabbit Insider."
Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sunday on KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
IPFW Mastodons (16-9, 9-5 Summit) - The Mastodons opened last week with a dominating 95-50 home win over Chicago State last Tuesday before dropping a heated, 86-78, contest at Oakland on Saturday in their only league game of the week.
Frank Gaines leads IPFW with 5.9 rebounds per game, and leads four Mastodons averaging in double figures with 14.3 points per game, slightly ahead of Ben Botts, who averages 14.2 points per game. Jeremy Mixon adds 10.8 points per game, while Zach Plackemeier averages and even 10 points to go along with his team-high 107 assists.
The Series vs. IPFW - The Mastodons lead the all-time series 7-4. The Jacks and 'Dons split the season series in each of the last three seasons, with each team winning on its home floor. A win Thursday would mark the Jackrabbits first win against IPFW at any location other than Frost Arena.
The first meeting, vs. IPFW (1/225/11) - The Jacks posted their largest-ever margin of victory in a Summit League game with a dominating 87-52 win over IPFW in the first meeting of the season.
Every Jackrabbit played at least 10 minutes in the win, including Clint Sargent, who led all players with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 5-of-8 from three-point range. Dale Moss added a season-high 17 points, including a monster put-back dunk that put the Jacks up 22-12 with 9:31 left in the first half. Moss also added a game-high seven rebounds. Jordan Dykstra scored 12 points in the win and Nate Wolters an even 10 points to round out the Jackrabbits double-digit scorers.
SDSU turned an early 10-point lead into a 42-22 halftime lead, and then used a 21-0 run in the second half to push the lead to a game-high 40 points at 69-29 with just over nine minutes to play. The Mastodons would get no closer than 32 points the rest of the way.
Oakland Golden Grizzlies (18-9, 13-1 Summit) - Winners of 11 of their last 12 games, the Golden Grizzlies only blemish in that span came in a 100-88 loss at IUPUI on Feb. 5. OU avoided a second league loss last week in an emotional win over IPFW. Oakland hosts North Dakota State on Thursday before the Jacks come to town on Saturday.
Keith Benson leads the OU offense with 17.4 points per game and the defense with 10.0 rebounds per game. Reining Summit League Player of the Week Reggie Hamilton averages 16.7 points and leads the Grizzlies with 136 assists. Will Hudson adds 12.4 points per game and Travis Bader 10.4 points.
The Series vs. Oakland - Oakland leads the all-time series 7-1, with the lone SDSU win coming on Jan. 31, 2009, when the Jacks erased a 17-point second half deficit to come back and win a 74-68 overtime thriller at Frost Arena.
The first meeting, vs. Oakland (1/20/11) - SDSU and Oakland combined for 185 points at Frost Arena, the highest combined total since Jan. 16, 2004, in a Summit League shootout, but in the end, the Golden Grizzlies came out on top with a 97-88 win in front of 3,241 fans.
Clint Sargent and Jordan Dykstra both scored 18 points to lead the Jacks, with Dykstra adding eight rebounds. Nate Wolters added 16 points and seven assists, while Tony Fiegen finished with a career-high 15 points in his first start since the season-opener.
All five OU starters scored in double figures, two of which finished with double-doubles, including Keith Benson, who scored a game-high 28 points and added 11 rebounds. Reggie Hamilton scored 18 points, while Travis Bader scored 16, Will Hudson 16 and Drew Valentine 11 points to go along with his game-high 13 rebounds.
Oakland scored first and jumped out to an early 14-4 lead, but the Jackrabbits hung tough and fought back to tie the game at 29-all with 8:38 left in the first half.
The hot-shooting Golden Grizzlies came right back with a three-pointer on the other end and pushed their lead back to 10 points at 54-44 at halftime, after shooting 61 percent over the first 20 minutes on 22-of-36 shooting.
OU stretched the lead to a game-high 18 points with just under 14 minutes to play, but the Jacks could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - The Jackrabbits head North to Fargo, N.D., next week to play North Dakota State in both team's regular seaosn finale. The Jacks and Bison tip-off from Bison Sports Arena at 7 p.m.