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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 5 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frost Arena (6,063) -- Brookings, South Dakota. Television: MidcoSN. Home Record: UNO 6-0, SDSU 7-1. Away Record: UNO 4-7, SDSU 3-6. Neutral Record: UNO 0-0, SDSU 0-1. Conference Record: UNO 0-2, SDSU 2-1. Series Record: South Dakota State leads, 48-31.
GAME NOTES: In the midst of a three-game homestand, the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State host fellow Summit League member Nebraska Omaha at Frost Arena on Saturday.
The Jackrabbits won the first game of this run on Thursday night with a 64-55 triumph over Western Illinois, the sixth victory in the last seven outings overall for the program. The team is now an impressive 7-1 at home and is off to a 2-1 start in league play as well.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks are heading in the wrong direction, dealing with a three-game slide. The stretch began with a 77-73 setback at Hawaii and continued with a 79-72 overtime loss at Western Illinois and a 91-69 blowout defeat versus North Dakota State two nights ago.
South Dakota State has won the last two meetings in the series, posting a 100-82 victory on the road at Ralston Arena last year. With the latest victories, the Jacks now have a 48-31 advantage in the all-time series.
The defense for the Mavericks was less than stellar on Thursday night as it allowed North Dakota State to shoot 54.2 percent from the field, including 8- of-19 behind the 3-point line, en route to the 22-point decision. Trying to give the visitors a fighting chance, Justin Simmons came off the bench to tally 21 points on 4-of-7 beyond the arc, followed by CJ Carter and Devin Patterson with 16 and 11 points, respectively, although the other three starters combined for only seven points on 3-of-14 shooting from the floor.
One of four players to have started every game, Carter leads the group in scoring with 14.2 ppg on 44.0 percent shooting from the field. He is also second on the team in assists (3.5 apg) as well as second in steals (21) as he gives it his all at both ends of the floor. John Karhoff accounts for another 13.9 ppg as a 52.2 percent shooter, while Patterson's 39.1 percent accuracy has held him to 12.1 ppg for one of the top scoring teams in the nation with 82.5 ppg.
The nine-point decision between South Dakota State and Western Illinois on Thursday night was essentially determined at the free-throw line where the hosts made good on all but one of 17 opportunities in the second half and outscored the Leathernecks at the charity stripe 20-12 overall. Doing most of the damage for the home team was Jordan Dykstra who converted all 10 of his FTs, en route to 20 points, while Cody Larson generated a double-double consisting of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Brayden Carlson, who converted 9- of-10 at the stripe, contributed 16 points.
Dykstra, a 42.7 percent shooter beyond the arc, who is also 83.0 percent accurate at the free-throw line, leads the way on offense for the Jacks with his 16.8 ppg, not to mention being the leader on the glass as well with 7.9 rpg. Carlson produces another 14.9 ppg thanks to his team-high 35 3-pointers, followed by Larson (13.6 ppg) who maintains his presence in the paint in order to come up with 7.2 rpg and a team-high 24 blocked shots.
Omaha may be one of the top scoring teams in the country entering the weekend, but trying to take down a Jackrabbits squad that has had so much success at home is asking quite a lot from the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 79, Nebraska Omaha 74
01/18 10:24:54 ET
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