FACTS & STATS: Site: O'rena (3,000) -- Rochester, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: USD 5-4, OU 5-0. Away Record: USD 1-6, OU 3-12. Neutral Record: USD 1-2, OU 0-0. Conference Record: USD 3-4, OU 3-3. Series Record: Oakland leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota Coyotes will have to slow down Travis Bader if they hope to take down the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at the O'rena on Saturday evening.
The Golden Grizzlies have a star in Bader, who is netting 20.6 ppg and is the leading 3-point shooter in the nation with 78 triples. The junior guard was in the zone versus UMKC his last time out, hitting 8-of-17 from the field, 5- of-11 from beyond the arc, and all nine of his free throw attempts to generate 30 points.
His effort helped Oakland snap a three-game losing streak and coast to an 81-68 decision over the Kangaroos, which puts it at 8-12 overall and 3-3 in conference. Greg Kampe's Golden Grizzlies are a much different team in the O'rena, where they have yet to lose in five games this season. Bader has plenty of help surrounding him. Center Corey Petros posts 13.1 points and 8.3 boards per outing, while point guard Duke Mondy adds 11.3 ppg in addition to his 60 steals, which is the third most among Division I players.
While Bader stole the show versus UMKC, his teammates made some solid contributions. Mondy dealt out eight assists, while Petros notched a double- double with 16 points and 10 boards. Drew Valentine had a phenomenal performance as well, tallying 19 points, eight rebounds and a career-high eight steals.
South Dakota lost its first two meetings versus Oakland, both of which occurred last season. The Golden Grizzlies completed a 101-83 rout in the tilt held in Rochester.
The Coyotes are in the midst a two-game slide and come in after suffering a tough, 62-60 defeat at IUPU-Fort Wayne on Thursday. The setback, which was their fourth in their past five games, lowered them to a 7-12 record with a 3-4 mark in league action. South Dakota has just one win in eight trips on the road this season where the Coyotes will remain for four of their next five contests, including this matchup.
Despite being the second-highest scoring team in the Summit League (71.1 ppg) the Coyotes have struggled to collect wins due to their weak defensive showings. On the season South Dakota is being lit up for 75.0 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting. The Coyotes are also facing a deficit on the boards of just under five rebounds per game. A lack of depth has hurt South Dakota with only five players scoring more than six points per game. Juevol Myles (15.4 ppg) has been the most productive scorer but has struggled to hit shots consistently. Myles shoots just 37.5 percent from the floor. Trevor Gruis (11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is one of the few frontcourt options for South Dakota, while Karim Rowson (10.1 ppg) has also managed to be productive at the offensive end.
The Coyotes won't be able to get away with giving open looks to Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies will run away with this one if Bader's hot streak continues. Not only will he hurt USD with his scoring, he will also take the brunt of the defense's attention to free up his teammates.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 83, South Dakota 70
01/19 10:37:43 ET
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