Oakland (13-13) at South Dakota (8-16)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 14, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: DakotaDome (10,000) -- Vermillion, South Dakota.
Television: None. Home Record: Oakland 9-1, USD 5-5. Away Record: Oakland
4-12, USD 2-9. Neutral Record: Oakland 0-0, USD 1-2. Conference Record:
Oakland 8-4, USD 4-8. Series Record: Oakland leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Oakland Golden Grizzlies look to continue their late rally
towards the pinnacle of the Summit League standings as they venture to the
DakotaDome to battle the South Dakota Coyotes.
This will be just the fourth meeting in history between these schools on the
hardwood. Oakland won the first two encounters last season before South Dakota
completed a 97-78 rout of the Golden Grizzlies at the O'Rena on Jan. 19 in the
first matchup of the 2012-13 campaign.
Since falling to the Coyotes, Oakland has reeled off five consecutive wins
which included decisions over Western Illinois, North Dakota State, and South
Dakota State, which are the only three teams ahead of it in the conference
standings. Greg Kampe's Golden Grizzlies are now 13-13 overall and just two
games behind the Summit League leading Leathernecks with an 8-4 mark versus
league foes. Travis Bader, who poured in 31 points versus SDSU on Saturday,
has been the go-to-guy all season long. The 6-foot-5 junior guard is leading
the nation with 114 makes from 3-point range to tally 22.1 ppg, which is the
fifth highest mark among Division I players.
The Golden Grizzlies are going to be tough for anyone to beat if they continue
to perform at such an efficient level. They went 16-of-30 from beyond the arc
and committed only four turnovers against SDSU in a hard-fought contest. The
lead changed hands 14 times in the opening 20 minutes before Oakland hit
nearly 60 percent of its field goal attempts to gain control after the break.
The strong offensive performance is not something unusual for the Golden
Grizzles, as they are second in the conference in scoring (73.0) thanks to an
average of 7.3 makes from long distance per game.
While the visitors have yet to lose since the inaugural duel, South Dakota's
80-65 loss to UMKC on Saturday marked its fourth loss in a row and sixth in
seven outings. The Coyotes own an undesirable 8-16 overall record that
includes a 4-8 mark versus Summit League competition. Although he is not quite
as productive as Bader on paper, senior guard Juevol Myles is doing a decent
job leading South Dakota with 15.1 ppg on 37.9 percent shooting from the
field. The Kansas State transfer has been in a slump lately though, connecting
on only 8-of-31 attempts from the field to net 9.0 ppg over his last three
appearances. Trevor Gruis (11.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Brandon Bos (10.6 ppg) are
both contributing double-digit scoring averages to help the Coyotes come in
right behind Oakland on the conference's scoring leaderboard with 71.0 ppg.
It took awhile for Oakland to get the ball rolling this season, but it seems
to finally have occurred. The Golden Grizzlies may not catch up to the three
schools ahead of them in the Summit League standings with such little time
remaining, but they will continue to build confidence to prepare for a run in
the conference tourney.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oakland 83, South Dakota 79
02/14 10:41:11 ET