IUPUI (5-20) at South Dakota State (13-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 8, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frost Arena (8,500) -- Brookings, South Dakota. Television: None. Home Record: IUPUI 4-8, SDSU 8-3. Away Record: IUPUI 1-10, SDSU 5-6. Neutral Record: IUPUI 0-2, SDSU 0-1. Conference Record: IUPUI 0-8, SDSU 5-3. Series Record: South Dakota leads, 9-6.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Summit League teams trending in opposite directions will square off at Frost Arena on Saturday, as the South Dakota State Jackrabbits play host to the IUPUI Jaguars.
While every other team in the Summit League has at least three conference wins, IUPUI has disappointed with eight straight losses to start league play, most recently falling at North Dakota State on Thursday night, 66-60. The Jaguars are a mere 5-20 overall, which includes a 1-10 mark on the road.
SDSU has surged up the standings in recent weeks with three straight victories, improving to 13-10 overall and 5-3 in the league. The Jackrabbits hosted IUPU-Fort Wayne on Thursday and came away with a dominating 79-51 victory as they improved to 8-3 on their home floor.
In the first meeting between the teams this season back on Jan. 9, SDSU made easy work of IUPUI in Indianapolis, 86-70. The Jackrabbits have now won eight straight over the Jaguars to improve their standing in the all-time series to 9-6.
The Jaguars fought from 14 points down in the second half of their most recent contest to make it just a three-point game in the final minute, but they could not complete the comeback in the tough road loss to NDSU. The Jags were outshot from the field, 51.8 percent to 42 percent, and lost the turnover battle, 15-5, and while they were perfect from the free-throw line, they only had 11 attempts. Mitch Patton tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, while Ja'Rob McCallum added 15 points to the losing effort on 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
IUPUI's lackluster season has been well represented in its statistical production, as it shoots 43.8 percent from the field for just 67.9 ppg while allowing 73.9 ppg on a lofty 45.8 percent shooting on the other end. Things have been especially rough without leading scorer Ian Chiles (15.9 ppg), who has missed the past four games with a hand injury. Patton (12.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has taken over as the primary scorer in Chiles' absence, with Khufu Najee (9.8 ppg) and McCallum (9.7 ppg) not far behind.
The Jackrabbits opened up a comfortable 13-point lead at intermission against IPFW earlier in the week and only added to that advantage before it was all said and done, as they outshot their opponent from the field, 50 percent to 35.2 percent, and won the rebounding battle, 42-30, en route to the 28-point blowout victory. Jordan Dykstra and Cody Larson were the catalysts with 18 and 17 points, respectively, with the duo combining to shoot 15-of-22 from the field. Chad White was also stellar, knocking down 5-of-7 from 3-point range for 15 points.
On the season, SDSU shoots an impressive 45.5 percent from the field for 73.3 ppg, but it has been stuck in the middle of the Summit League pack due to its less-than-impressive defense (.466, 71.3 ppg). Dykstra has proven himself to be one of the league's top forwards with 16.7 ppg and 7.7 rpg while shooting 40-of-97 from 3-point range (.412) and 106-of-125 from the free-throw line (.848). Carlson scores 15.4 ppg and has also been strong from beyond the arc (44-of-109), while Larson (13.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and White (10.3 ppg) bring plenty of scoring depth.
With SDSU surging and IUPUI struggling, expect those trends to continue in this one as the Jackrabbits take care of business on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 81, IUPUI 66
02/08 10:27:08 ET