Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Men Host North Dakota
The Jackrabbits (17-6/7-1 Summit League) have been enjoying six days off before hosting North Dakota, Saturday (February 9) afternoon at Frost Arena.
The Fighting Hawks (9-15/3-8 Summit League) have dropped to eighth place in the standings after losing five of their last six. Leading scorer and the Summit's most accurate shooter, forward Conner Avants, has missed five straight games with an injury.
UND has been shooting under 50 percent in each of the last 6 but defends the three-point line better than anyone in the conference - limiting opponents to 35 percent. In the first meeting with SDSU, the Fighting Hawks held the Jackrabbits to just 32 percent from long range, South Dakota's lowest percentage in the last eight games.
Tipoff is 4:15 PM, Saturday in Brookings.
SDSU won the first meeting 78-74 in Grand Forks but had to come from behind to do it.
North Dakota got 19 points and seven three-pointers from Marlon Stewart to lead by as many as three points in the second half, but South Dakota State took the lead for good with 9:34 left and held on to win behind 34 points and a career-high 21 rebounds from Mike Daum.
UND only attempted one free throw in the game and was outscored 13-0 at the line.
Last week, the Jackrabbits swept a pair on the road starting with an 86-80 win at Oral Roberts.
SDSU got off to a slow start, hitting just one of their first six shots, while the Golden Eagles raced out to an eight-point lead.
But the Jacks found their touch, shooting 59 percent for the rest of the first half, leading by 11 at intermission.
That lead ballooned to 20 early in the second half as SDSU started 6-of-11 from the floor.
ORU came storming back, cutting the deficit to just five at one point, but they were outscored 16-4 at the free throw line.
Daum led five double-figure scorers for the Jackrabbits with 23 points. David Jenkins Jr. added 18.
The Golden Eagles grabbed 14 offensive boards leading to 21 second-chance points.
Kevin Obanor scored 17 points off the bench to lead Oral Roberts.
The trip ended with a 92-82 victory at Denver.
After the teams traded baskets early, Jackrabbit guard Skyler Flatten went off scoring 13 of SDSU's next 15 points, giving State an 11-point halftime edge. The Pioneers shot 34 percent in the first 20 minutes.
The Jackrabbits pushed the lead to as many as 25 in the second half, keyed by a Tevin King steal and high-flying slam dunk.
Flatten finished with a career-high 36 points on 14-of-18 shooting, which included eight three-pointers.
I talked to South Dakota State associate head coach Eric Henderson about last week's games and the match-up with North Dakota: