In a twist of fate, South Dakota State enters the 2011 Summit League Championships as the No. 5 seed, and play No. 4 seed IPFW, the same team that knocked the Jackrabbits out of the 2010 tournament, when SDSU came in as the No. 4 seed and lost to the No. 5 seed Mastodons. In 26 meetings at the tournament, the No. 5 seed team holds a 14-12 advantage over the No. 4 seed, a stat the Jacks would like to change to 15-12 on Sunday, when they take on the Mastodons in the Sioux Falls Arena at 6 p.m.
The regular season ended with at thud for the Jackrabbits last week in Fargo, N.D., when the Jacks came up cold in an 84-61 loss at North Dakota State in the regular season finale, as the Bison strung together runs of 19-0 and 17-0 to run away with their 10th straight win over SDSU.
Nate Wolters led the Jackrabbits with 14 points, nine of which came from the free throw line. Jordan Dykstra added 12 and Brayden Carlson finished by tying a career-high with 11 points and setting a new career-mark with a team-high eight rebounds.
Michael Tveidt led the Bison with 17 points, Taylor Braun finished with 14, Marshall Bjorklund 14 and Mike Felt 12 points in the win.
SDSU scored first on its first possession, but Bison answered with a 19-0 run, capped with NDSU dunks on back-to-back trips down the floor and prompting an SDSU timeout.
The Jacks would battle back from the free throw line to get as close as six points, but the Bison scored the last seven points of the half to take a 35-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The 7-0 Bison run to end the first half carried over in the second half, turning into a 17-0 burst and stretching the NDSU lead to 46-24 with 16:25 left to play. Dale Moss broke the run with a layup at the 15:48 mark, the Jacks first points of the half, but the Jacks would get no closer than 17 points the rest of the game.
Wolters leads the Jackrabbits into the tournament with 19.0 points per game, with 176 assists and with 39 steals. He also pitches in with 4.5 rebounds per game. Sargent adds 15.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game and easily leads the Jacks with 79 three-pointers on the season. Dykstra averages 11.1 points per game and leads the Jackrabbits with 5.0 rebounds per game and with 16 blocks.
JACKRABBITS AMONG THE NATION'S BEST - The Jackrabbits enter the week ranked third nationally with 10.1 turnovers per game and fourth with a 1.52 assist to turnover ration. The Jacks also rank fourth with a .416 three-point field goal percentage, eighth with 9.0 three-pointers per game and with a 4.3 turnover margin. SDSU also ranks ninth with 81.3 points per game.
Individually, Nate Wolters ranks 14th nationally with 6.1 assists per game and 17th with a 2.71 assist to turnover ratio. Clint Sargent enters the week ranked 37th in the nation with 2.7 three-pointers per game and 39th with a .397 three-point field goal percentage.
CLIMBING THE 1,000 POINT CLUB LADDER - Sargent started the season tied for 33rd on the all-time list with 1,035 points, but finished the regular season with 1,478 points, the most by any Jackrabbit to play his entire career at the Division I level and sixth most all-time. Sargent needs 11 points to move up to fifth on the all-time scoring charts.
SARGENT SETS THREE-POINT RECORD, EYES ANOTHER - Adding to his legacy at SDSU, Sargent broke the SDSU career three-point record in the Jacks win at Centenary on Feb. 5, and enters The Summit League Championships with 248 career threes.
Each three Sargent makes now brings him closer to the single-season record of 85, set by Austin Hansen in 2003 and equaled by Andy Moeller in 2004. Sargent enters the week with 79 three-pointers this season, tied for third in the SDSU record book with former teammate Garrett Callahan, who made 79 treys in 2009.
LONG DISTANCE RECORD FALLS - Not only can Sargent take credit for the individual three-point record, he also played a large part in breaking another record. In the same game that Sargent set the career record, the 2010-11 Jackrabbits broke the team single-season record for three-pointers in a season, finishing the game at Centenary on Feb. 5, with 222, which breaks the old mark of 218, set during the 2008-09 season. The Jacks enter the week with an SDSU record 261 three-point makes on the season.
WOLTERS SETS SOPHOMORE RECORD - Nate Wolters needed 26 points to tie the sophomore scoring record and 27 to break it entering the Jacks Feb. 19, game at Oakland, and scored 29 to break the record of 534 points, set by the Jackrabbits all-time leading scorer Mark Tetzlaff in 1983. Both Tetzlaff and Wolters set the mark in 28 games. Wolters enters the tournament with 551 points this 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.
WATCH THE SUMMIT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS ONLINE ON Summit-TV - All men's quarterfinal and semifinal games can be seen online through SummitTV live streaming with three available purchase options. For $4.95, fans can select any quarterfinal or semifinal game, for $14.95 fans can purchase all men's quarterfinal and semifinal games or for $19.95 fan can purchase a full package that includes all of the men's and women's quarterfinal and semifinal action.
To learn more about SummitTV, or to purchase your subscription, log onto TheSummitLeague.org, and click on the "2010-11 BASKETBALL GAME PORTAL" in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage.
WATCH THE TOURNAMENT ON MIDCO SPORTS NET - The Summit League and Midco Sports Net reached an agreement that gives Midco Sports Net the exclusive right to produce, broadcast and distribute all men's and women's quarterfinal and semifinal games at the 2011 Summit League Basketball Championships.
Midco Sports Net signed-on to air live coverage of 12 of the 14 tournament games prior to the women's championship on ESPNU and men's championship on ESPN2. In addition, Midco Sports Net provides extend access to the tournament by airing rebroadcasts during the week and archived games on-demand via its cable systems.
For all of your Summit League Championships viewing options, CLICK HERE
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.
THREE JACKRABBITS EARN ALL-LEAGUE HONORS - Three South Dakota State men's basketball players earned all-Summit League honors as announced by the league at The Summit League Championships at the kick-off press conference on Thursday at the Sioux Falls Arena.
"We're very proud of Nate, Clint and Jordan," head coach Scott Nagy said. "We were a very good offensive team this year and I think these awards reflect that, and that gives us an indication of how highly the rest of the league views our players."
A sophomore from St. Cloud, Minn., Wolters led the Jackrabbits with 19.0 points per game, breaking the SDSU sophomore scoring record with 551 points this season and counting. Wolters also led the team with 176 and 30 steals.
A senior from South Sioux City, Neb., Sargent averaged 15.3 points per game and enters the tournament with an SDSU record 248 career three-pointers. He also comes I as the Jackrabbits most prolific scorer at the Division I level with 1,478 career points, sixth most all-time at SDSU and just 11 points shy of moving up to fifth all-time.
A freshman from Rock Valley, Iowa, Dykstra started 16 straight games for the Jacks this season, before eventually finding his place as the team's sixth man. Dykstra flourished in his new role, and closed the season with an 11.1 points per game average to go along with his team-high 5.0 rebounds per game. He also led the team with a .545 field goal percentage, which includes a .500 average from beyond the three-point arc.
No. 4 seed IPFW Mastodons (18-11, 11-7 Summit) - The Mastodons started The Summit League season with five straight wins, but finished the regular season with just two wins in the final five league games. They did however, end the seson with a convincing 82-57 win at UMKC and did sweep the season series with the tournament's No. 3 seed Oral Roberts.
Frank Gaines leads four Mastodons averaging in double figures with 14.6 points per game and with 6.0 rebounds per game. Ben Botts averages 13.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Zach Plackemeier averages 10.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and leads the team with 126 assists. Jeremy Mixon rounds out the 'Don's double digit scorers with 10.2 points per game.
The Series vs. IPFW - SDSU swept the season series for the first time in 2010-11, but the Mastodons still lead the all-time series 7-5, which includes a 71-66 win over the Jackrabbits in the first round of the 2009-10 Summit League Championships.
The first meeting, vs. IPFW (1/25/11) - 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.
The second meeting, at IPFW (2/17/11) - Nate Wolters scored at least 30 points for the third time this season on Feb. 17, at IPFW, but for the first time in those three games, he did it in a Jackrabbit win. A convincing 80-64 win at Memorial Coliseum.
The Jackrabbits first-ever win in Fort Wayne boosted their record to 18-9 overall and 10-6 in The Summit League. The Mastodons fell to 16-10 overall, 9-6 in league play.
Along with his game-high 30 points, 22 of which came in the second half, Wolters also led all-players with nine rebounds and with seven assists. Griffan Callahan added 19 points, Clint Sargent 12 and Jordan Dykstra 10 points in the win.
Frank Gaines led a pair of Mastodons in double figures with 17 points, Zach Plackemeier scored 14 in a losing cause.
The Jacks and 'Dons played close early, with three ties in the first half before Dykstra put the Jacks up for good at 20-17 with of his two three-pointers at the 8:31 mark in the first half.
SDSU would extend its lead to 37-29 at halftime, and then put the game away with an 8-0 run early in the second half that put the Jacks up 14 points at 56-42 with just under 13 minutes to play.
The Jackrabbits would increase that lead to as many as 21 points on three occasions, but never led IPFW get any closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - A Jackrabbit win would pit the Jacks against either top-seeded Oakland or No. 8 seed Southern Utah on Monday in the semifinals.