Jacks battle Bruins in Music City
South Dakota State kicked off the first leg of its six game road trip with a hard-fought double overtime win at Montana, and now turns its attention to another NCAA Tournament team from last year with Belmont.
Ranked No. 13 in the latest mid-major poll, the Jackrabbits battle the Bruins, who rank 10th in the same poll, on Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., at 7 p.m.
THE LAST TIME OUT; at Montana, Dec. 15 - South Dakota State used 22 second chance points to overcome 19 lead changes, 12 ties and 3,408 raucous fans in a 68-67 double overtime win over Big Sky favorite Montana on Saturday night at Dahlberg Arena in Missoula, Mont.
The win not only gives SDSU its first true road win on the season, but also snapped The Grizzlies 15-game home winning streak.
The Jackrabbits won the battle of the boards 47-34, including a 15-4 edge on the offensive glass, which they needed to overcome a rough shooting night, as they shot 37.7 percent for the game on 26-of-69 shooting.
After holding Montana to 38.5 percent shooting in the first half on 10-of-26 shooting, which resulted in a 25-22 SDSU lead at halftime, the Griz come out in the second half and shot 52.4 percent, converting on 11 of their 21 shots from the field.
Trailing by one with 12 seconds left in regulation, Montana's Mike Weisner missed his first of two free throws, but made the second to tie the game at 53. Nate Wolters missed a three at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
SDSU scored the first six points of the extra frame, but it came down to free throws again, this time by Kareem Jamar, who went to the line with five seconds left and the Jacks up 59-58. He made the first one, but missed the second. The Griz got the offensive rebound, but Keron DeShields' 3-pointer at the buzzer missed its mark, sending the game to a second overtime tied at 59.
Just like the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime, the second extra period came down to free throws, this time by the Jackrabbits and senior captain Tony Fiegen, with 8.9 seconds on the clock and the Jacks down 66-67. Fiegen made them both to give SDSU the lead, and Brayden Carlson came through with a steal at the other end to seal the win.
Fiegen finished with 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for his first-career double-double. Jordan Dykstra led the Jacks with 16 points and added 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season
Despite not scoring in the first half, Wolters finished with15 points, moving into second place on the SDSU all-time scoring charts in the process. He also added nine rebounds and five assists
Carlson added 10 points and four rebounds for the Jacks in the win.
NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU caps the first leg of its six game road trip with a game at No. 16 New Mexico on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. MT, when the Jacks return to The Pit, where they made their NCAA Tournament debut last year against Baylor.
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 five stations throughout South Dakota on the Jackrabbit Sports Network.
- 570 AM - WNAX - Yankton
- 910 AM - KJJQ "The Ranch" - Brookings
- 1060 AM - KGFX - Pierre
- 1480 AM KSDR - Watertown
- 1490 AM - KORN - Mitchell
Pierre, S.D., native Tyler Merriam returns for his second season as the voice of Jackrabbit men's basketball, and also serves as the voice of Jackrabbit football.
THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on GoJacks.com watch every SDSU 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 subscribe to the Jackrabbit Extra, 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 all 21 Jackrabbit varsity sports teams by tuning into "The Jackrabbit Insider."
Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sundays on KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
DOWN TO THE WIRE - The Jackrabbits lost the season opener at Alabama on a 3-point buzzer beater and lost at Hofstra on Nov. 16 on a 3-pointer with three seconds left.
The Jacks turned the tables on Nov. 17 vs. Marshall, as Chad White hit a 3-pointer with two seconds left to lift SDSU to a win. White did it again on Nov. 28, hitting an off-balance 3-pointer as the horn sounded to give the Jacks a 71-70 win over North Dakota.
The Jacks added a double overtime thriller to the mix on Dec. 15 at Montana, when Tony Fiegen sank two free throws with nine seconds left in the second overtime, the last of 19 lead changes in the 68-67 SDSU win.
WOLTERS ON MULTIPLE AWARDS WATCH LISTS - The only player in Division I men's basketball to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in 2011-12 put senior Nate Wolters on the national map, which led him earning place on multiple preseason awards lists.
- Candidate for Senior CLASS Award - SeniorClassAward.com
- Named on the Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 List - WoodenAward.com
- Lute Olson preseason All-America selection - LuteOlsonAward.com
ELITE COMPANY - Wolters finished the 2011-12 campaign averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game to join an exclusive group. He became just the fifth player in NCAA history to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a season. Wolters finished just one assist shy of reaching an even more select group with a 20-points, six-assist and five-rebound average, a feat achieved by only two players in NCAA history.
- Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), 2011-12 - 21.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, 5.1 rpg
- Norris Cole (Cleveland State), 2010-11 - 21.7 ppg, 5.3, apg, 5.8 rpg
- Evan Turner (Ohio State), 2009-10 - 20.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 9.2 rpg
- Ricky Minard (Morehead State), 2003-04 - 21.8 ppg, 5.1 apg, 7.3 rpg
- Speedy Claxton (Hofstra), 1999-2000 - 22.8 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.4 rpg
PERFECT AT HOME - The Jackrabbits entered the season with 17 straight home wins, and pushed that total to 23 with the win over CSU Bakersfield on Sunday. The Jacks home winning streak ranks third in the nation behind Syracuse with 30 and Kansas with 27.
SDSU won a team-record 27 straight home games from 2002-04, starting with a 98-78 win over Colorado Mines on Nov. 29, 2002, and ending with a 107-104 overtime loss to Omaha on Jan. 10, 2004.
SEVEN IN DOUBLE FIGURES - All 10 Jackrabbits scored at least one point in the Jacks 96-48 win over UDC, seven of which reached double figures. Taévaunn Prince led the way with 13 points, Jordan Dykstra, Nate Wolters, Zach Horstman, Chad White and Marcus Heemstra all scored 12 and Tony Fiegen 10 points in the win.
FIEGEN AND DYKSTRA EARN WEEKLY HONORS - Two South Dakota State men's basketball players posted double-doubles in the Jackrabbits thrilling 68-67 win over Montana on Saturday in Missoula, Mont., earning them both weekly accolades. The Summit League named Tony Fiegen its player of the week, while College Sports Madness tabbed Jordan Dykstra for its weekly league honor.
A senior forward from Madison, Fiegen earned his first career award after a double-double performance that led the Jackrabbits past Montana and snapped the Grizzlies' 15-game home court win streak, the eighth-longest in NCAA Division I. His two decisive free throws with 8.9 seconds remaining in the second overtime propelled SDSU to the 68-67 victory. Fiegen scored 13 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, while playing a career-high 43 minutes. He converted five-of-nine field goal attempts and all three free throws while adding one steal.
A junior forward from Rock Valley, Iowa, Dykstra got the nod from College Sports Madness as its Summit League Men's Basketball Player of the Week after he led the Jacks with 16 points in the win at Montana, adding 10 rebounds for his fourth career double-double. Dykstra also tied a career-high with three steals and tied a season-high with three assists in the win.
DENVER JOINS THE SUMMIT - The University of Denver accepted an invitation to become The Summit League's newest member institution, the university and league announced on Nov. 27. Denver joins The Summit League during the 2013-14 academic year, with its membership taking effect on July 1, 2013.
ON THE RECORD
WOLTERS CLIMBS THE 1,000-POINT CLUB LADDER - Nate Wolters became the 42nd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club in a win over Sam Houston State on Nov. 22, 2011, and instantly began his climb up the all-time charts at SDSU. He enters the week with 1,827 career points, good for second all-time at SDSU, after passing assistant coach Austin Hansen for third on the all-time list Lee Colburn for second on the all-time list in the Jackrabbits win over Montana on Dec. 15.
WOLTERS CHASES ALL-TIME SCORING RECORD - Wolters scored 907 points in his first two years as a Jackrabbit, including the SDSU sophomore record with 604 points and the junior record with 721 points. He entered his senior season 304 points shy of breaking the SDSU record of 1,931, set by SDSU legend Mark Tetzlaff from 1981-85, and now needs 104 to break the mark.
MORE THAN JUST A SCORER - In addition to his scoring prowess, Wolters continues his climb up the all-time assists charts at SDSU. His 188 assists as a sophomore represents the third best single-season total in SDSU history, and his 202 as a junior marks the second-highest single-season total at SDSU. Adding to that, his 536 career assists ranks second all-time at SDSU, 70 shy of breaking the all-time mark of 605 assists, set by Brian Norberg from 1995-99.
DYKSTRA CLOSING IN ON 1,OOO-POINT MILESTONE - Junior Jordan Dykstra scored 351 points as a freshman and 362 points as a sophomore, which gave him 713 for his to start the season. His 167 points this season gives him 880 for his career, 120 shy of becoming the 43rd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
BELMONT BRUINS (7-3, 3-0 Home) - Just like the Jackrabbits, the Bruins finished the 2011-12 season with a 27-8 record, capped by a loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Belmont started the 2012-13 season with four straight wins, before falling to Northeastern in the Great Alaska Shootout.
Kansas snapped a two game Belmont winning streak on Saturday in Lawrence, Kan., after the Bruins posted back-to-back home wins over Lipscomb and Middle Tennessee State in their previous two games.
THE SERIES vs. BELMONT - First Meeting
THE LAST TIME OUT: Dec. 15, at No. 9 Kansas -Belmont University men's basketball dropped an 89-60 decision to No. 9 Kansas Saturday night.
After an inspired victory over Middle Tennessee Thursday night, the Bruins made the quick turnaround to face one of the most tradition-rich programs in the country.
Kansas, fresh off an appearance in last year's National Championship game, returned four senior starters and a bevy of talented underclassmen. Moreover, the Jayhawks entered the evening riding a 59-game non-conference home court winning streak.
The game also featured two of college basketball's most respected head coaches - Belmont's Rick Byrd and Kansas' Bill Self - men leading programs with championship resumes and sterling graduation rates.
As fate would have it, the Bruin senior class played at historic Allen Fieldhouse as freshmen; having been indoctrinated to the boisterous, basketball-savvy environment.
But it would be an inauspicious start for Belmont, as off the opening tip Ben McLemore made a deep three-pointer for Kansas five seconds in.
Mere moments after sinking a baseline three-pointer, Belmont standout senior Kerron Johnson picked up his second foul just 3:39 into the game. The sequence was undeniably deflating for Belmont, as the dynamic guard was forced to the sidelines for a stretch.
Seven early points from Travis Releford pushed Kansas out to a 16-5 lead less than six minutes in, before Belmont steadied itself and played toe-to-toe with KU for the remainder of the first half.
A short jumper from senior Trevor Noack and a gorgeous driving layin from freshman Craig Bradshaw got Belmont within 16-9 nine minutes in.
In fact, with the Jayhawks focusing much of their defensive attention to Johnson and fellow senior Ian Clark, the Bruins worked their offensive sets for clean three-point looks midway through the first half, but simply could not ring the bell.
Nevertheless, a baseline teardrop and a deep three-pointer from Clark and a layin finish from sophomore Reece Chamberlain off a feed from junior Blake Jenkins got the Bruins within 27-21 with 5:45 left in the first half.
Kansas responded, as a McLemore dunk capped a 7-0 Kansas run to push the margin back to 13.
Belmont scratched and clawed, more than holding its own on the glass and with perimeter ball pressure in the first half, but a string of empty offensive trips hurt the cause.
However, a three-pointer from Noack got Belmont within 39-28 with 46 seconds left in the half.
All things considered, the Bruins were fighting to position themselves for a second half run.
But rather than a defensive stop and a chance to cut to single-figures by halftime, the Bruins endured a driving layin from Elijah Johnson, a curious turnover on Clark that wiped away a made floater, and a conventional three-point play by McLemore at the buzzer, giving the Jayhawks a 44-28 lead at halftime.
Belmont shot 33 percent (10-for-30) from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 4-for-17 from three-point distance.
Kansas handed out 13 assists on 17 first-half field goals.
Noack had seven points and five rebounds at the break for Belmont.
Unlike Thursday night when the Bruins stormed out the locker room with a game-defining spurt, on this night Belmont shouldered another Kansas burst.
After another McLemore three-pointer, Kevin Young capped a 13-4 Kansas run to start the second half.
While Belmont uncharacteristically rimmed out three-point looks, Kansas made 10 of its first 16 shots from behind the arc to go along with strong defense and interior play.
The Bruins got strong all-around play from Noack and Johnson, but a trademark scoring flurry never materialized.
Andrew White III led solid bench production for Kansas.
All told, Belmont shot 34 percent (22-for-64) from the field - including just 8-for-38 from three-point distance.
Noack led the Bruins with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. McLemore and Releford each scored 17 points for Kansas (8-1).