After this week, we'll know a lot more about  South Dakota State's chances of living up to their status as pre-season favorites to win the Summit League title.

The Jackrabbits (9-5/1-0 Summit League) play their second and third consecutive road games to start the conference schedule, beginning this afternoon (January 3) at Purdue-Fort Wayne.

The Mastodons (4-10/0-2) Summit League) have already matched their entire win total from last season and feature one of the youngest teams in the Summit.

Guard De'Jour Young is the only senior on the Fort Wayne roster. She leads the Dons with 14 points per game.

Sophomore guard Kiersrtyn Repp (11-of-24, 29 points) shot the ball well against the SDSU defense last season.

Defensively, Fort Wayne has some size inside where center Jaelencia Williams and forward Sh'Toya Sanders have 29 blocked shots between them this season.

Tipoff is 4:00 PM, this afternoon in Fort Wayne.

Sunday, the Jackrabbits match-up with in-state rival South Dakota for the first of two regular-season meetings.

The Coyotes (13-2/1-0) Summit League) are the hottest team in the conference, winning 11 of their last 12 heading into this week.

USD swept the regular-season series with SDSU last year, en route to a perfect 14-0 Summit League record. The Jackrabbits did bounce back to beat the Coyotes in the conference tournament championship game.

South Dakota's offense has been extremely balanced this season with seven players averaging better than seven points per game and six different players leading them in scoring so far. Junior guard Ciara Duffy leads the team with 13 points per game.

The Coyotes commit the fewest turnovers in the Summit League and their defense leads the conference in fewest points allowed (55 per game) and lowest opponents shooting percentage (37%).

Tipoff is 1:00 PM, Sunday in Vermillion.

SDSU opened league play with a 93-84 win at Western Illinois last week.

It was a game of runs with the Jacks scoring 11 straight in the first quarter before the Leathernecks tied it in the second after a 12-2 spurt. SDSU closed out the first half with a 10-2 run to take a 12-point halftime lead.

South Dakota State shot the ball well in the opener - 55 percent in the first half, 62 percent in the second half. They dished off 21 assists, hit ten three-pointers, and outrebounded Western by 18. Those numbers overshadowed a season-high 24 turnovers.

Five players scored in double figures, led by 20-point performances from senior guards Macy Miller and Madison Guebert.

I talked with SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston about the Western Illinois win and this week's match-ups with Purdue-Fort Wayne and South Dakota:

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