Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Men at Western Illinois, Host Omaha
The Jackrabbits (8-9/1-1) go to Western Illinois, Wednesday where they'll battle a Leathernecks team that stunned pre-season favorite Fort Wayne on the road last week. All-conference Garret Covington scored 25 points as WIU connected on a school-record 18 three-pointers.
Wednesday's game will feature the Summit's top two scorers - SDSU's Mike Daum (23 points per game) and Covington (20 points per game). WIU senior forward Mike Miklusak is in the top ten in the league in scoring, rebounding, and shooting percentage. Sophomore center Brandon Gilbreck leads the conference in blocked shots.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Macomb, Wednesday.
The Jackrabbits finish week two at home with Omaha, Saturday.
The Mavericks (7-8/0-2) are trying to find their shooting touch after hitting less than 40 percent of their shots in week one losses to South Dakota and North Dakota State.
Omaha has the potential to put up a ton of points with a trio of guards (Marcus Tyus, Zach Jackson, and Tra-Deon Hollins) all averaging in double figures in the Mavs up tempo offense. Forward Tre-Shawn Thurman leads the team with 14 points and eight rebounds a game.
Tipoff is 4:30 PM at Frost Arena, Saturday.
Last week, the Jackrabbits saw their 34-game home wining streak come to an end in an 80-69 loss to North Dakota State.
SDSU's defense got off to a great start, limiting the Bison to 30 percent shooting in the first half, converting on just 3-of18 from behind the three-point arc. The Jackrabbits were already up eight when they scored 12 of the final 15 points of the half to take a 15 point lead at the break.
The second half was a different story, as SDSU struggled at times to keep up with the pace of the game. The Bison began hitting three-pointers while the Jacks offense went silent with no field goals for nine minutes. During that stretch, there was a 22-point swing on the scoreboard and NDSU emerged with a seven-point lead.
SDSU would get as close as four, but 61 percent second half shooting for the Bison would seal the victory.
Saturday, the Jackrabbit zone defense would have a solid first half against South Dakota, limiting the Coyotes to 31 percent shooting, and just one made three-pointer on 16 attempts.
But like NDSU, USD would find their shooting touch in the second half, starting with a 17-3 run to go up eight. This time, the Jackrabbits, more specifically Daum, responded. The sophomore was responsible for all of SDSU's field goals over the final 9:30 of the game, after he had been held scoreless for the first 10:30 pf the second half.
Daum's biggest basket came with five seconds left after the Coyotes had taken a one-point lead on a Trey Burch-Manning three-point play. Daum's short jumper proved to be the game winner in a 73-72 SDSU victory. Daum finished with 30 points.
I talked with South Dakota State head coach TJ Otzelberger about the week one match-ups: