It’s a matchup of the top two teams in the Summit League today when first place North Dakota State visits number two Western Illinois.

The Bison are the lone unbeaten team in conference play this season, perfect after their first seven games.  Thursday night was their first test without leading scorer Taylor Braun, who is out for six weeks with the broken bone in his foot.  They showed no signs of letting up as they jumped out to a 20 point halftime lead at IUPUI and cruised to a 38 point win.  TrayVonn Wright leading the way with 16 points and seven rebounds, as NDSU shot 57% from the floor for their 16th win in 19 games this season.

The Leathernecks (6-1) are coming in after their first conference loss of the year, a 59-53 setback to South Dakota State Thursday in front of more than 4,000 in Macomb, IL. WIU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but were outscored 26-15 the rest of the half.  The Leathernecks got a 14 point, 10 rebound performance from forward Terell Parks, who earlier in the week was considered doubtful for the game with an injured wrist.  did get good news before the game, as forward Terrell Parks. WIU guard Ceola Clark struggled shooting against the Jackrabbit defense, going just 1 for 13.

Today’s match-up features the best shooting team in the Summit (NDSU) against one of the top defenses in the league (WIU).  A Bison win gives them a two game cushion in the standings, a Leatherneck victory moves them back into a first place tie with NDSU.

South Dakota State (5-2) is in sole possession of third place coming in, just a game out of second.  The Jacks got 22 points and six assists from point guard Nate Wolters in the win over Western Illinois Thursday, pushing their Summit League win streak to three.  Today’s game at IUPUI (1-6) is SDSU’s last before hosting first place North Dakota State next Saturday at Frost Arena in Brookings.

The University of South Dakota (3-4) plays at Oakland (3-3) today.  The Coyotes are trying to rebound from a 62-60 loss at Ft. Wayne Thursday.  USD had a four point lead at halftime, but turned the ball over ten times in the second half and were outscored 11-1 on points off turnovers in the second 20 minutes.  Coyote leading scorer Juevol Myles struggled from the floor Thursday going just 2 of 15 for nine points.  USD starts the day a half game behind Oakland for fourth in the Summit League.

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