South Dakota State (1-3) at Texas Tech (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 21, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Spirit Arena (15,000) -- Lubbock, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: South Dakota State 1-1, Texas Tech 3-0. Away Record: South Dakota State 0-1, Texas Tech 0-1. Neutral Record: South Dakota State 0-1, Texas Tech 0-0. Conference Record: South Dakota State 0-0, Texas Tech 0-0. Series Record: Texas Tech leads, 2-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders play host to the struggling South Dakota State Jackrabbits in a non-conference bout at United Spirit Arena as part of the Legends Classic.
The loss of all-purpose guard Nate Wolters has really taken its toll on the Jackrabbits. An NCAA Tournament squad last year, the Jackrabbits have opened up the year at 1-3. They finally ended a three-game losing streak and got their first win of the season on Monday but it took a matchup with Division II Southwest Minnesota State to accomplish the feat. This contest marks just the second road game of the year for the Jackrabbits, who will host Howard in the next part of the Classic.
The Red Raiders took on another team from the Lone Star State in the first leg of the Classic. That matchup with Texas Southern ended in an 80-71 victory for the Red Raiders, who were able to bounce back from their first loss of the season against Alabama. In all the Red Raiders are sporting a 3-1 mark entering Thursday's contest, including a perfect 3-0 ledger at United Spirit Arena. Texas Tech's next game in the Legends Classic will be against Pittsburgh in Brooklyn.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series with two wins in as many meetings with South Dakota State. The most recent matchup occurred over 30 years ago, during the 1979-80 season, a 111-75 victory for the Red Raiders.
It took a Division II opponent to allow the Jackrabbits to find some consistency on offense. Against SWMSU the Jackrabbits knocked down 52.5 percent of their shots from the field. Jordan Dykstra led the way in the victory with 21 points and 12 rebounds. He was one of two players with a double-double and one of five to score in double figures.
Even though the Jackrabbits have been inconsistent offensively, it has been their showings on defense that have really left something to be desired. The Jackrabbits are allowing 77.8 points per game on the young season, while teams have been shooting at a 47.4 percent clip from the floor. Dykstra (17.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg) was expected to take on the role left by Wolters and for the most part he has succeeded. Although the team has struggled to get victories, Dykstra has had no issue scoring and pulling down rebounds, as he leads the team in both categories. Dykstra has scored 20 points in the last three games and is scoring nearly five points more per game than a year ago. Brayden Carlson (16.0 ppg), Chad White (11.8 ppg) and Cody Larson (10.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) are also important contributors.
Jaye Crockett dropped in 21 points and Dusty Hannahs added 19 off the bench to lead the Red Raiders over Texas Southern. The Red Raiders shot at a 53.6 percent clip in the contest. The efficient shooting made up for deficits from beyond the arc (21-12), the free-throw line (20-16) and on the boards (37-34).
Thus far the Red Raiders have been shooting well with 51.2 percent of their field goal attempts finding the bottom of the net. The shooting average has allowed them to score 77.5 points per game. Crockett (13.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is one of four players on the roster to be averaging in double figures and one of three to be putting in more than 13 points per game. Robert Turner (15.5 ppg, 2.5 apg) is the leading scorer as well as the most productive passer. Turner was right on the mark against Texas Southern with 15 points. Jordan Tolbert (13.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg) teams with Crockett in the frontcourt. Both players are rebounding well and netting more than 65 percent of their field goal attempts. Hannahs (11.2 ppg) is the fourth double-figure scorer on the roster.
Dykstra is going to have difficulty imposing his will up front against Crockett Tolbert and seven-footer Dejan Kravic. With Dykstra slowed, the Jackrabbits will be out of luck.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas Tech 74, South Dakota State 66
11/21 10:35:56 ET