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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 5:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: DakotaDome (10,000) -- Vermillion, South Dakota. Television: Midco Sports Network. Home Record: SDSU 6-0, South Dakota 4-3. Away Record: SDSU 3-5, South Dakota 1-6. Neutral Record: SDSU 2-0, South Dakota 1-1. Conference Record: SDSU 2-1, South Dakota 2-2. Series Record: SDSU leads, 116-88.
GAMES NOTES: In a battle on instate rivals the South Dakota State Jackrabbits square off with the South Dakota Coyotes in a Summit League showdown at the DakotaDome on Saturday evening.
The Jackrabbits have been on the road for their last five games with the most recent contest ending in a 77-61 rout of UMKC. South Dakota State hasn't managed to really get much rhythm during the road trip as the Jackrabbits have traded wins and losses over the last five games. South Dakota State is 11-5 overall and 2-1 in Summit League play entering this matchup. South Dakota State returns home for its next two games beginning against Oakland.
South Dakota kicked off a three-game homestand with a 92-66 rout at the hands of North Dakota State on Thursday. The loss was the third in the last four games for the Coyotes who are just 6-10 overall. That mark includes an even split of their four conference games. South Dakota will finish off this homestand against UMKC next Saturday before playing five times on the road in the next six games.
This marks the 204th meeting between these two programs all time. In that time South Dakota State has amassed an 116-88 advantage although the teams split the season series a year ago.
In the win over UMKC South Dakota State posted its highest point total since Dec. 6 as the JAckrabbits nailed 50.9 percent of their shots from the floor including an impressive 12-of-27 from beyond the arc. Nate Wolters (23 points) and Jordan Dykstra (21 points) really had it going in the victory.
Wolters (20.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.7 apg) has been one of the most productive and versatile players in the Summit League if not the entire country. The 6-foot-4 guard leads the league in both scoring and assists and is also among the top five performers on the glass. Dykstra (13.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg) has teamed with Wolters to form a lethal one-two punch for the Jackrabbits, while Tony Fiegen (10.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) has also made solid contributions. Led by Wolters the Jackrabbits are the highest scoring team in the Summit League (72.1 ppg) as well as the conference leader in assists (14.9 pg).
As for South Dakota, the Coyotes were run off the court by North Dakota State. The Coyotes allowed the Bison to shoot a blistering 63.8 percent from the floor in the game including an incredible 21-of-26 performance in the first half. The Coyotes were also on the short end of a 32-20 deficit in rebounds and a 46-22 deficit on points in the paint.
South Dakota's leader is Juevol Myles (14.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.1 apg) who leads the team in scoring, assists and steals. However, Myles has been a less than consistent scorer as he shoots at just a 38.6 percent clip from the floor while being kept out of double figures three times in the last eight games. Trevor Gruis (11.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Karim Rowson (10.5 ppg) provide complementary options, especially Gruis who shoots better than 50 percent from the field. Scoring hasn't been too much of an issue for South Dakota which checks in at 70.7 points per game. However the defensive effort has been another story as the Coyotes are lit up for 75.1 points per game on 45.3 percent shooting.
Considering how poorly the Coyotes have played defensively this season it is hard to imagine they will be able to slow down Wolters and keep the Jackrabbits out of the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 76, South Dakota 67
01/05 10:31:39 ET