Montana (0-1) at South Dakota State (0-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 14, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frost Arena (6,500) -- Brookings, South Dakota. Television: None. Home Record: Montana 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Away Record: Montana 0-1, SDSU 0-1. Neutral Record: Montana 0-0, SDSU 0-1. Conference Record: Montana 0-0, SDSU 0-0. Series Record: Montana leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams shooting for their first wins of the season get together at Frost Arena in Brookings tonight, as the South Dakota State Jackrabbits entertain the Montana Grizzlies in non-conference action.
The Jackrabbits played their first two games of the new season in San Diego as part of the USD Classic on back-to-back days, and neither contest worked out in the team's favor. The campaign began with a 74-70 setback against San Diego on Nov. 8, and a day later the squad bowed in a 98-89 final to Loyola Marymount.
While SDSU is heading into its third game tonight, Montana is one behind after opening the season just two nights ago versus Minnesota. The trip to Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Tuesday night resulted in a disappointing 84-58 loss.
Montana leads the all-time series between the teams by a count of 3-1.
Against the Golden Gophers, Montana made a total of just eight field goals in the first half and while four of those came from 3-point range, the visitors still trailed by 14 points at the break. In the second half, the team picked up the pace, but only barely, with 12 field goals as the Grizzlies fell hard against its Big Ten Conference foe.
Montana had just one player score in double figures as Kareem Jamar dropped in 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor, but he had his issues from long range with only one make in five tries. The team as a whole shot just 6-of-22 beyond the arc, in addition to struggling at the free-throw line (12-of-22) as well. All of those failed shots would not have been so bad if not for the fact that the Grizzlies managed just five offensive rebounds.
In a game that featured six ties and just as many lead changes, the Jackrabbits held a lead of just four points in the first half against LMU before being knocked out in the second half. South Dakota State shot only 6- of-18 behind the 3-point line and turned the ball over 21 times, but the squad remained in contention by hitting 37-of-50 at the free-throw line. Jordan Dykstra, who was a near-perfect 11-of-12 at the charity stripe, came away with 22 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out, followed by Brayden Carlson with 19 points, Chad White 18 and Jake Bittle 10 points in the losing cause.
After two games, Carlson leads five players who are averaging double digits, as he drops in 15.5 ppg. Bittle is responsible for 14.0 ppg and Dykstra 13.5 ppg to go along with 7.0 rpg. The team is pouring in 79.5 ppg on 42.3 percent shooting from the floor, but the opposition is posting 86.0 ppg on 52.6 percent accuracy.
Montana is hoping to have better luck on the road this time around, but if the Jackrabbits are able to dial up the offense again and take advantage of all of their trips to the free-throw line, this could turn into the first win of the season for SDSU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 78, Montana 72
11/14 10:30:44 ET