Oakland (7-10) at South Dakota State (11-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frost Arena (6,107) -- Brookings, South Dakota. Television: None. Home Record: OU 4-0, SDSU 6-0. Away Record: OU 3-10, SDSU 3-6. Neutral Record: OU 2-0, SDSU 0-0. Conference Record: OU 2-1, SDSU 2-2. Series Record: Oakland leads, 10-2.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota State Jackrabbits try to stay perfect at Frost Arena as they host the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in a Summit League bout on Thursday.
Oakland was handed a 65-45 loss at Alabama on Saturday at it took a brief break from conference play to close out its non-league slate. The setback to the Crimson Tide dropped the Golden Grizzlies to a 7-10 overall record, but they are still 2-1 in Summit League competition. Coach Greg Kampe's team is just 3-10 in true road games this season, but it has faced some very tough opponents in Boise State, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, and Ohio University along the way.
The Jackrabbits dropped to 2-2 in the conference standings and 11-6 overall on Saturday as they came up just short to suffer a 74-71 loss at South Dakota. Scott Nagy's squad will be happy to return home where it has yet to be defeated in six contests at Frost Arena this season. South Dakota State is due for a victory if it keeps up its trend, as it has alternated wins and losses over its past six outings.
This will be the 13th meeting in history between these Summit League foes. Oakland holds a dominant 10-2 all-time series lead after each team successfully defended its own court in 2011-12.
The Golden Grizzlies produced two impressive outings with an 84-62 decision over IUPUI and a 91-79 victory over Nebraska Omaha in their last two conference games, but they were unable to find the same success against Alabama their last time out. Duke Mondy netted a team-best 11 points while Matt Poches and Travis Bader contributed 10 points apiece in the loss. Oakland went 16-of-59 (.271) from the floor and just 2-of-10 from distance in the loss. Bader, who is second in the league with 19.6 points finished 1-of-5 from 3-point range. It was just the second occasion the junior guard, who paces the nation in makes from beyond the arc (66), was limited to less than two successful attempts from long range. Corey Petros adds 12.8 points and 7.6 boards per outing, while Mondy serves as the third option at 12 ppg.
The only player Bader trails in the Summit League's scoring column will also be on the floor on Thursday. Senior guard Nate Wolters is not only the top point producer in the conference, he also set a school record his last time out as he poured in 26 points to raise his career point total at 1,943. The 6-3 floor general is quite versatile as he is responsible for 21 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per outing. Jordan Dykstra adds 12.8 points and 6.7 boards per game. Although SDSU is leading the conference with 72.1 ppg, it does not have a third player with a double-digit scoring average.
Oakland clearly has talent on its roster as it has played well for stretches, but it has yet to put it all together to yield desired results. The Golden Grizzlies will find it easier to fill it up against SDSU than they did versus the Crimson Tide, but Wolters and company are going to be much more difficult to deal with on the defensive end. This has all the makings of a shootout and it may turn into a head-to-head battle between Bader and Wolters down the stretch.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 80, Oakland 75
01/10 10:34:33 ET