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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,023) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: SDSU 1-0, Hofstra 0-0. Away Record: SDSU 0-1, Hofstra 0-2. Neutral Record: SDSU 0-0, Hofstra 0-0. Conference Record: SDSU 0-0, Hofstra 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Hofstra Pride are set for their first home game as they host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits at the Mack Sports Complex on opening night of the Hempstead Subregional of the 2K Sports Classic.
The four-team subregional features a round robin format. The University of the District of Columbia and Marshall will also participate in the Hempstead Subregional.
South Dakota State picked up its first win of the season its last time out by downing Tennessee State, 78-71, in its home opener. The Jackrabbits played Alabama very tough on the road in their season opener, but a three-point shot at the buzzer by Trevor Lacey gave the Crimson Tide a narrow 70-67 victory. SDSU is coming off a stellar 27-8 season that ended with a hard fought loss to the Baylor Bears in the NCAA Tournament.
The Pride enter the 2K Sports Classic with an 0-2 mark following their 83-54 loss to Purdue. The Boilermakers held a massive 50-22 advantage in the rebounding battle while Hofstra converted only 3-of-11 from beyond the arc and missed 10 foul shots. Coach Mo Cassara's team was also blown out in its opener by Monmouth (91-62).
The engine behind SDSU's success is its star senior Nate Wolters. The combo guard was one of the few players in the NCAA to score in double-figures in every game he participated in last season. He drew national attention for a 19- point outing in the Big Dance and averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.1 boards in 2011-2012. Wolters picked up right where he left off this season by tallying 52 points, 12 assists, nine boards, and five steals in just two games. Junior forward Jordan Dykstra was a serviceable big man in his first two seasons with 11.3 ppg both years, but he has elevated his play to post 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest in two games this year.
The Pride were led by freshman forward Jimmy Hall and sophomore center Moussa Kone in their loss at Purdue. Hall produced 17 points, five rebounds, and three steals while Kone netted 12 points and pulled down four boards. Hall is pacing the team through two games with 14 points and 8.5 rebounds per outing. The Pride's lineup looks much different this season and 54 percent of its scoring so far has been courtesy of newcomers. Hawaii transfer Shaquille Stokes (9.0 ppg) and Rhode Island transfer Stevie Meija (8.0 ppg) are the two most productive additions to the squad.
Although they have the homecourt advantage, the Pride will have their hands full with the Jackrabbits in this one. SDSU has quickly risen above many Division I programs since moving up from the Division II level in 2004-2005. Wolters has developed from a high school player with little recruiting interest into an All-American candidate.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 81, Hofstra 62
11/16 10:32:52 ET
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