South Dakota State (0-1) vs. Loyola Marymount (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 9, 6:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100) -- San Diego, California.
Television: None. Home Record: South Dakota State 0-0, LMU 0-0. Away Record:
South Dakota State 0-0, LMU 0-0. Neutral Record: South Dakota State 0-1, LMU
1-0. Conference Record: Grand Canyon 0-0, LMU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever
GAMES NOTES: In their second matchup of the San Diego Classic, the South
Dakota State Jackrabbits will attempt to bounce back against the Loyola
Marymount Lions at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Life without Nate Wolters did not start well for South Dakota State. The
Jackrabbits let a six-point lead slip away in the final five minutes as
they fell, 74-70, to tournament host San Diego on Friday night. The
Jackrabbits are coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, but the
path to a third will be challenging without Wolters, who was a third-team All-
American last season. The Jackrabbits did not have the same offensive punch
without Wolters on Friday as they shot at just a 42.9 percent clip from the
floor, while turning the ball over 16 times.
The Lions got quite the scare in their opening-round matchup with Grand
Canyon, which was making its first regular-season appearance as a Division I
program. After jumping out to a 41-29 lead at halftime the Lions went cold
from beyond the arc (1-of-5) in the second half but managed to hold on for a
78-75 victory. Though it was certainly not a strong start to the year the
positive result is something the Lions will surely take after having only 11
victories in 34 games a year ago.
Saturday's contest will be the first meeting between these programs.
The dip in scoring efficiency was to be expected for the Jackrabbits
considering they lost Wolters, a player that scored 22.3 points and dished out
5.8 assists per game last year. Without him, the Jackrabbits did not look like
the team that ranked 22nd in the nation in field-goal percentage and among the
top 50 teams in the country in scoring (73.4 ppg). Jordan Dykstra was the
second leading scorer last season but he did not take the mantle of go-to
scorer from Wolters on Friday, managing just five points on 2-of-6 shooting.
Brayden Carlson and Jake Bittle were much less shy with their shot attempts as
each had 10 in the game. Carlson managed 12 points on his attempts, while
Bittle came off the bench to connect on three 3-pointers and finish with 18
points. Marcus Heemstra (16 points, six rebounds) and Cody Larson (11 points,
eight rebounds, four assists) each turned in solid performances as well, but
the Jackrabbits are still in need of a leader.
In the victory over Grand Canyon it was no surprise that Anthony Ireland was
the leading offensive threat as he dropped in 14 points. A year ago Ireland
was the main scoring option for the Lions at more than 20 points per game.
Though he struggled to find his shot at times against Grand Canyon (4-of-12),
Ireland certainly looks to be taking on the role of go-to scorer yet again. A
trio of other players scored in double figures for the Lions as well, with Ben
Dickinson (12 points), Gabe Levin (11) and Ayodeji Egbeyemi (11) all getting
in on the action. Levin was particularly impressive as he also pulled in nine
rebounds, had a pair of assists as well as two blocks and two steals. As a
team the Lions connected on 45.2 percent of their shots from the field.
It is obviously still very early in the season and Dykstra, who averaged over
12 points per game last season, will improve. Look for him to bounce back on
Saturday and for the Jackrabbits to leave San Diego with a 1-1 record.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 73, Loyola Marymount 68
11/09 10:39:19 ET
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