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Jackrabbits host Coyotes on Senior Night

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/28/2014 14:40:45
A win over Denver on Thursday guaranteed South Dakota State a two or three seed in next week’s Summit League Championships, but the Jackrabbits need a win against South Dakota and a Fort Wayne loss at Omaha on Saturday to secure the No. 2 seed. The Jacks and Coyotes tip at 4 p.m. from Frost Arena.

Along with tournament implications, Saturday’s game marks the final home contest for Jackrabbit seniors Brayden Carlson, Jordan Dykstra, Marcus Heemstra and Chad White, all of whom invite fans to stay after the game for the senior night festivities, which begin on the floor immediately following the game with South Dakota.

The Jacks enter the final game after a tough 78-69 win over Denver on Thursday, which completed the season sweep of the Pioneers. Carlson led all scorers in the win with 22 points and tied for game-high honors with four assists. Dykstra added 19 points and eight rebounds, with Cody Larson scoring 16 and pulling down six rebounds to go with his career-high four steals. White finished with 11 points and Jake Bittle eight points to go with his game and career-high 11 rebounds.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS – SDSU plays in the quarterfinals of The Summit League Championships next weekend at the Sioux Falls Arena. If the Jacks earn the No. 2 seed, they would play No. 7 seed IUPUI on Saturday at 6 p.m. If they get the No. 3 seed, the Jacks would play No. 6 seed Western Illinois on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.   

The Jacks swept the season series against both potential opponents, and own an eight game winning streak over the Jaguars and a 10 game winning streak against the Fighting Leathernecks.

JACKRABBIT QUICK HITS

• Larson holds the longest active streak of double figure scoring for SDSU with six 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 at least 1,500 points and 800 rebounds in a career vs. Denver
• Carlson and Dykstra became the first CoSIDA Academic All-Americans for SDSU men’s basketball since 2000

• SDSU finished at least +10 in rebounding margin in seven of the last eight games
• The Jackrabbits scored two bench points vs. Denver on Thursday. The Pioneers got 19 points from their bench
• The two bench points ties a season low for SDSU (at UMKC, at IUPUI). The Jacks won all three games
• South Dakota last won at Frost Arena on Jan. 3, 2000, a string of six straight games
• 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 JACKRABBITS ON TELEVISION – Saturday’s game can be seen live on Midco Sports Net and on Fox College Sports Pacific with Tom Nieman handling the play-by-play duties and Brad Newitt on color.

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.

NOTEWORTHY

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. 

DOUBLE-DOUBLE DIFFERENCEJordan Dykstra and Cody Larson combined for eight double-doubles over the first 11 games of the season, but none for the next seven games. Larson snapped that skid vs. Western Illinois on Jan. 16, and Dykstra added another at South Dakota on Feb. 1. The Jacks broke free for two more double-doubles, when both Larson and Jake Bittle finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Omaha on Feb. 13, with Dykstra adding one more on Feb. 15 at Western Illinois.

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 28 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 today’s game ranked fifth all-time at SDSU with 1,605 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 vs. Denver on Thursday, when he grabbed his 800th career rebounds, and enters today’s game ranked fifth all-time at SDSU with 807 rebounds, four shy of moving up to fourth all-time.

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 22nd all-time with 1,204 points, 13 shy of moving up to 21st all-time.

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.

CARLSON CRACKS TOP-10 IN CAREER 3-POINTERS – Carlson sank his 151st career 3-pointer on Feb. 13 at Omaha, which puts him in tie for 10th all-time at SDSU, he enters today’s game alone in 10th place with 152 career triples.

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 .446 percent, Chad White ranks fifth with a .409 mark from deep, while Brayden Carlson enters the game ranked ninth all-time with a .396 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.

TODAY’S OPPONENT

SOUTH DAKOTA COYTOES (12-16, 6-7 Summit) – The Coyotes, who dropped an 82-54 contest at North Dakota State on Thursday, enter the final game of the regular season with the No. 5 seed at next weekend’s Summit League Championships locked up, and play an as of yet undetermined No. 4 seed opponent in the tournament quarterfinals on Sunday at 6 p.m.

That quarterfinal opponent could be either Denver or Fort Wayne based on the outcomes of Saturday’s final regular season games.

THE SERIES vs. SOUTH DAKOTA – The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 118-89-1. The teams split the season series in each of the last two years, with each team winning on its home floor. The tie in the series came in a disputed contest on March 12, 1915 in Brookings.

SDSU holds a 24-9 edge in the series at Frost Arena, with the last Coyote win in Frost coming Jan. 3, 2000, by a 68-58 score.      

THE FIRST MEETING OF THE SEASON; FEB. 1, 2014; VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota State senior Brayden Carson reached the 1,000 point milestone, Jordan Dykstra posted his sixth double-double of the season and the Jackrabbits held off a late South Dakota rally to secure a 70-68 win on Saturday in front of 5,036 fans at the DakotaDome.

“We won two road games this weekend and we out-rebounded our opponents by 24 and gave up four offensive rebounds, so that’s how hard it is to win a road game, but we were the more physical team this weekend,” head coach Scott Nagy said. “I’m saying for us, we were more physical than we’ve been, and how that translates for us is that we’re playing harder, and that’s just what we need to do. It’s not about Xs and Os, it’s more about us playing with energy and passion and I thought we did that this weekend.”

The Jackrabbits, who improve to 12-10 overall and to 4-3 in The Summit League, led by as many as seven points at 14-7 midway through the first half, but the Coyotes, who fall to 8-13 overall and to 3-4 in the league, fought back to tie the game at 20-all with 6 minutes, 37 seconds left in the half, and then led by as many as six with just over 90 seconds left in the half, but the Jacks cut the lead to 32-31 at halftime, after Zach Horstman hit a shot as the first half buzzer sounded.

The home team scored first in the second half, but the Jacks responded with a 9-0 run to go back up by six points, and then used a 14-1 run later in the half that ended with the Jacks up 56-41 with 10:30 left in the game.

The Jacks never trailed again, but the Coyotes did cut the lead to as few as two points at 68-66 with 1:10 left on the clock, but Jake Bittle took a charge with 23 seconds left, got a steal after an SDSU miss with six seconds left and then hit the game-clinching free throws that put SDSU up 70-66 with five seconds left.

Carlson, who hit the milestone from the free throw line with 5:51 left in the game, led all players with 22 points, finishing with 1,003 points in his career.

“I’ve been surrounded by great guys; great teammates and great coaches my whole career,” Carlson said about scoring 1,000 career points. “The hard work finally paid off to get to that milestone, but we got two wins this week, that’s what I’m happy about, that’s all that matters.”

“He has put the time in,” Nagy said about Carlson. “He’s not a high flier, he’s a good athlete, I wouldn’t say he’s a great athlete, but he’s worked hard and he’s made himself a really good basketball player.”

In addition to Carlson, Dykstra finished with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, as the Jacks won the battle of the boards 32-22, including an 8-2 edge on the offensive glass, which resulted in 12 second chance points, compared to two for South Dakota.

Both Bittle and Marcus Heemstra scored 10 points in the win.

Casey Kasperbauer led a trio of Coyotes in double figures with 17 points. Trevor Gruis added 16 and Trey Norris 14 in the loss.

THE COYOTES THE LAST TIME OUT: Feb. 27, at North Dakota State; FARGO, N.D.--North Dakota State shot out to a 24-3 lead and never looked back in an 82-54 win against South Dakota Thursday night at the Bison Sports Arena.

The Bison (22-6, 11-2 Summit) have won the Summit League regular season championship outright and have won 11 of their last 12 games. South Dakota (12-16, 6-7) lost for the first time in four games.

North Dakota State held South Dakota without a field goal for nearly 14 minutes to start the game. The Coyotes missed the first 14 shots they took and committed seven turnovers in staking the Bison to a 21-point lead. Nineteen points was the closest USD would get from that point forward.

Taylor Braun had 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to pace the Bison. Mike Felt scored 15 points off the bench on five 3-pointers. TrayVonn Wright and Marshall Bjorklund added 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Karim Rowson scored 10 points to lead South Dakota, which made 4 of 22 shots in the first half and shot a season-low 31 percent in the game. Tyler Flack and Brandon Bos added nine points each.

USD will be the No. 5 seed in the Summit League Tournament, which runs March 8-11 in Sioux Falls. The Coyotes will open the tournament at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 6 against either Denver or Fort Wayne.

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