South Dakota State (10-5) at UMKC (4-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 3, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Municipal Auditorium (9,827) -- Kansas City, Missouri. Television: KSMO. Home Record: SDSU 6-0, UMKC 1-4. Away Record: SDSU 2-5, UMKC 1-5. Neutral Record: SDSU 2-0, UMKC 2-1. Conference Record: SDSU 1-1, UMKC 1-2. Series Record: South Dakota State leads, 8-5.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota State Jackrabbits look to bounce back as they visit Municipal Auditorium for a Summit League battle against the UMKC Kangaroos.
SDSU dropped a 65-62 decision at North Dakota State on Saturday, which gives it a 10-5 overall record and a 1-1 standing in league play entering Thursday. The Jackrabbits were coming off of a road upset of the previously unbeaten New Mexico Lobos. Coach Scott Nagy's team is outscoring its opposition by an average of 4.3 points per contest despite its difficult non-conference slate that included bouts with the Lobos, Alabama, Minnesota, Belmont, and Montana.
Matt Brown's Kangaroos will continue to search for answers as they enter on a six-game losing slide that was extended on a New Year's Eve when they were defeated, 77-65, by Nebraska Omaha. The setback leaves UMKC at a disappointing 4-10, which includes a 1-2 performance in league play. Even at home, Brown's squad has been dismal with just one win in five outings. The Kangaroos are having a tough time on both ends of the floor so far as they are netting 62.1 ppg on 41.4 percent shooting while allowing 71.6 ppg and a .465 field goal percentage.
Thursday's matchup with be the 14th meeting between the Kangaroos and Jackrabbits. SDSU holds an 8-5 all-time series lead after coming out of the last two encounters on top.
The Jackrabbits revolve around their superstar senior point guard Nate Wolters, who is carrying impressive averages of 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest. The senior floor general poured in 26 points in the team's loss to North Dakota State over the weekend, and he was joined in double figures by Tony Fiegen (14 points) and Brayden Carlson (12 points). Jordan Dykstra, who is the team's second leading scorer (12.5 ppg) and top rebounder (7.1 rpg), had an off night from the floor and tallied just seven points.
Unlike the visitors, UMKC lacks a standout player as Thomas Staton is pacing the team with only 10.9 points per game and Estan Tyler (10 ppg) is his only teammate also carrying a double-digit scoring average. However, Staton may be developing into a go-to-guy. The senior guard scored a career-high 23 points for the Kangaroos in their loss to Nebraska Omaha on Saturday while Tyler and Nelson Kirksey added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Brown has a powerful piece in his lineup at center in Fred Chatmon. The junior big man is helping the team in the rebounding battle with 7.7 per game to go along with 1.4 rejections per outing.
The Kangaroos stand very little chance against the defending conference champions in this one. Despite losing last time out, SDSU is playing a very high level and will be an overwhelming visitor as it becomes the seventh straight team to down UMKC
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 74, UMKC 53
01/03 10:42:56 ET