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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Jacks advance to face top seed Oakland in Summit semis

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 03/07/2011 11:26:52
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South Dakota State made it a three-game season sweep of IPFW on Sunday to boost its all-time Summit League Tournament record to 2-2 and advance for the second time in three years to take on tournament top seed Oakland on Monday in the semifinals at 6 p.m.

Fifth seeded South Dakota State used an early 13-0 run to take the lead from No. 4 seed PFW in Sunday's quarterfinal matchup at The Summit League Championships in Sioux Falls, and then held off a late Mastodon assault to hang on for an 85-75 win in front of 6,436 fans at the Sioux Falls Arena.

The Jackrabbits improve to 19-11 with their third win over the Mastodons this season, and advance to play top-seeded Oakland in the tournament semifinals on Monday at 6 p.m. IPFW ends its season with an 18-12 overall record.

Nate Wolters led the Jackrabbits with 30 points in the win, adding seven rebounds and five assists. Dale Moss scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Clint Sargent finished with 14 points. Jordan Dykstra scored 10 points in his first-ever postseason game, and added five rebounds before fouling out with under a minute to play.

Frank Gaines led IPFW with 21 points and added a game-high 12 rebounds to complete the double-double. Ben Botts and Trey McCorkle both added 16 points and John Peckinpaugh 11 points in the loss.

IPFW scored first on its first possession, but the Jacks answered with the 13-0 run, prompting not one, but two timeouts from the Mastodon bench within the first three and a half minutes of the game.

The Jacks would extend their lead to as many as 20 points in the first half, before IPFW cut it to 43-29 at halftime.

The Mastodons would continue chipping away at the lead, cutting it to as few as four points on three occasions, but the Jacks made their free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

Wolters leads the Jackrabbits with 19.4 points per game, with 181 assists and with 41 steals. He also pitches in with 4.6 rebounds per game. Sargent adds 15.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game and easily leads the Jacks with 81 three-pointers on the season. Dykstra averages 11.1 points per game and leads the Jackrabbits with 5.0 rebounds per game.

JACKRABBITS AMONG THE NATION'S BEST - The Jackrabbits entered the tournament ranked third nationally with 10.1 turnovers per game and fourth with a 1.52 assist to turnover ration. The Jacks also ranked 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 ranked ninth with 81.3 points per game.

Individually, Nate Wolters ranked 14th nationally with 6.1 assists per game and 17th with a 2.71 assist to turnover ratio. Clint Sargent entered 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. His 14 points in the quarterfinal win give him 1,492 points, good for fifth all-time at SDSU.  

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 semifinals with 250 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 game with 81 three-pointers this season, the third best single-season total.

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 game with an SDSU record 267 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 game with 581 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.

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.

SEMIFINAL OPPONENT

No. 1 seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies (23-9, 17-1 Summit) - Reggie Hamilton scored 21 of his game-high 23 points in the first half as top seed Oakland improved to 23-9 for the season with an 82-66 victory over Southern Utah in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Hamilton nailed a pair of three pointers in the closing minute of the first half, helping the Grizzlies open a 46-34 lead at intermission. With Southern Utah trailing just 23-20, Hamilton scored nine straight OU points including a three-pointer which made it 32-23 with 5:15 to play in the half. He finished 8-for-13 from the field including 3-of-4 on treys, and also contributed four assists and two steals in 23 minutes playing time.

Summit League Player of the Year Keith Benson added 19 points on 8-for-12 from the field while Travis Bader scored 13 and Larry Wright 11. The Grizzlies shot 54 percent from the field (30-of-56) including eight treys on 18 attempts.

Jackson Stevenett led Southern Utah with 24 points. He hit 10-of-16 from the field and the Thunderbirds shot 46 percent (24-of-52). Ray Jones Jr., added 13 points and Ramell Taylor 12, and each contributed five rebounds as SUU finished with a 32-30 advantage on the boards. Oakland committed just eight turnovers to finish plus five in that category.

The Series vs. Oakland - The Golden Grizzlies lead the all-time series 8-1 after sweeping the season series in each of the last two seasons, and downing the Jacks in The Summit League Tourament semifinals in 2009. The lone SDSU win in the series came on Jan. 31, 2009, a 74-68 overtime thriller at Frost Arena. 

The first meeting, vs. Oakland (1/20/11) - SDSU and Oakland combined for 185 points on Jan. 20, the highest combined total since Jan. 16, 2004, in a Summit League shootout at Frost Arena, 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 NBA prospect Keith Benson, who scored a game-high 28 points and added 11 rebounds. Reggie Hamilton scored 18 points and added a game-high nine assists. 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.

The Jackrabbits held Oakland to 48 percent shooting in the second half, but the Grizzlies still finished with a 55 percent shooting percentage (37-of-67), while the Jacks finished the game shooting 45 percent (35-77).

The second meeting, at Oakland (2/19/11) - Nate Wolters scored 29 points to break the sophomore scoring record, Jordan Dykstra scored a career-high 25 points and Clint Sargent recorded his third-career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, but the milestones all came in a 105-96 loss to Oakland on Feb. 19. 

The teams traded baskets early in the game to the tune of seven ties and seven lead changes. The Jackrabbits largest lead of the game came with 7:17 left to play in the first half, a 36-30 advantage that the Golden Grizzlies quickly erased with a 15-0 run.

Dykstra ended the Oakland run at the 2:40 mark of the first half with one of his four three-pointers to cut the OU lead to six points at 49-43, but the Jacks would never lead again.

The Jacks cut the lead 51-49 late in the first half before the Grizzlies took a 54-49 lead into the locker room at halftime. SDSU would rally to get within two points again in the second half, but could never regain the lead for the hot-shooing Grizzlies.

Oakland finished the game shooting 54 percent from the floor (38-of-70), and got 22 points from both Larry Wright and Travis Bader, who went 6-of-10 from long range. Keith Benson added 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Will Hudson scored 17 and Reggie Hamilton 14 points in the win.  

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - A Jackrabbit win would pit the Jacks against either Oral Roberts or IUPUI on Tuesday in the league championship game and an NCAA Tournament bid.

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