Setting the Stage for the Stretch Run: A Look at Area Basketball programs
As January comes to a close, it’s as good a time as ever to set the stage for where our area basketball teams are heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
We’ll start on the women’s side in the Summit League, where both the SDSU Jackrabbits and USD Coyotes have been playing some great basketball this season. For USD, a 2-4 start with 2 tough losses to ranked opponents is clearly in the rearview, as the Coyotes are a Summit League-best 11-0, and 18-4 overall. The most impressive part of the 16-game winning streak is the fact that the Coyotes have won all but one of those games by double digits. For SDSU, their lone loss in Summit League play came to rival USD, as the Jackrabbits are currently second in the conference at 10-1 and 14-8 overall. The two programs square off for the second time this season on Saturday, February 5th.
In the Northern Sun Conference, both area programs, Augustana and USF are in the middle of the pack at this stage of the season. The Vikings are 10-7 overall and are currently fifth in the South Division at 6-7. Despite dropping their last 2 games, the Sioux Falls Cougar Women are 8-6 in the conference and 13-8 overall. The Cougars have been stellar on their home floor this season, posting a 10-1 mark.
The South Dakota State Jackrabbit men have proven to be the class of the Summit League thus far this season, posting a 10-0 record in conference and 19-4 overall. The Jackrabbits face-off with North Dakota on the road Monday Night. For South Dakota, they are very much in the thick of things at 6-4 in conference play and have taken home wins in 6 of their last 7 contests.
The Augustana Viking Men are 17-2 overall and 11-2 in conference play this season, boasting an NSIC best seven-game winning streak. USF at 10-9 overall is still very much in the thick of things in the South, as a total of 5 programs are separated in the standings by just 3 games.
It should be a fun stretch run for all of our area basketball programs as we head closer to March when all teams aim to play their best and make a strong and memorable finish to the season.
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