Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Men Host North Dakota State, Omaha
South Dakota State has a chance to finish off the first half of the 2019 Summit League schedule in sole possession of first place if they can post a pair of victories at Frost Arena this week.
The Jackrabbits (14-6/4-1 Summit League) are home for a pair starting with North Dakota State, Thursday (January 24).
The Bison (9-11/3-3 Summit League) don't have a senior on their roster and have a balanced offensive attack with five players averaging nine points or more per game.
Sioux Falls native Deng Geu is one of the top sixth men in the conference, averaging 13 points per game off the bench. He's scored in double figures in four of his last five games.
Tyson Ward is a top-five rebounder in the Summit.
NDSU has been taking care of the basketball lately, turning it over 11 times or less in four of their last five games.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM, Thursday in Brookings.
Saturday (January 26), the Jackrabbits host the only other team that currently only has one loss in league play, Omaha.
The Mavericks (11-8/5-1 Summit League) play an up-tempo brand of basketball on offense leading the conference in scoring, field goals attempted and made, and field goal percentage.
Seniors Zach Jackson and Mitch Hahn lead a group of five players that average in double figures in scoring.
UNO turns the ball over the least number of times among Summit League teams, ten or fewer in nine of their last 11 games.
Tipoff is 4:15 PM, Saturday in Brookings.
The Jackrabbits won their lone game last week, 78-74, Wednesday (January 16) at North Dakota.
In the first meeting between the two schools as members of the Summit League, the Fighting Hawks grabbed the upper hand early scoring the first seven points of the game while SDSU started 0-of-3 from the floor.
The Jackrabbits found their shooting touch after that, hitting 17 of their next 30 to close out the half, grabbing the lead for the first time with 6:20 left in the first and finishing the half on an 18-10 run to lead by ten at the break. Mike Daum was 9-of14 shooting in the first half, recording a double-double (19 points/12 rebounds) in the first 20 minutes of the game.
That lead was as big as 13 in the second half before UND went on a three-point binge, knocking down seven long-range shots in the first 7:40 to retake the lead. Marlon Stewart hit five threes in the second half, scoring all of his 19 points in the 20-minute period.
The Jackrabbits responded with some defensive pressure forcing a pair of turnovers which keyed a 9-0 punctuated by a Daum dunk. SDSU never gave up the lead after that.
Daum finished the night with 34 points and a career-high 21 rebounds. David Jenkins Jr. added 20 points.
Free throws were a big story in this one. SDSU shutout UND from the charity stripe 13-0. The Fighting Hawks only attempted one free throw in the game.
I talked to South Dakota State associate head coach Eric Henderson about last week's win and the match-ups with North Dakota State and Omaha: