South Dakota (8-10) at Nebraska Omaha (11-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 2:07 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ralston Arena (4,691) -- Ralston, Nebraska. Television: None. Home Record: South Dakota 7-1, Nebraska Omaha 6-1. Away Record: South Dakota 1-8, Nebraska Omaha 5-7. Neutral Record: South Dakota 0-1, Nebraska Omaha 0-0. Conference Record: South Dakota 3-1, Nebraska Omaha 1-3. Series Record: South Dakota leads, 40-30-1.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota Coyotes had a five-game win streak snapped Thursday against Western Illinois, and they'll try to get back in the win column with a Summit League matchup with the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks Saturday at Ralston Arena.
The Coyotes are a team of streaks this season, having gone on a six-game losing skid before winning five in a row. On Thursday, South Dakota dropped a 79-61 contest to Western Illinois, setting the Coyotes back to 3-1 in the Summit League.
Nebraska Omaha, on the other hand, has struggled in conference play this season, losing four of the team's last five games leading to a 1-3 conference record. The Mavericks were defeated by Denver, 74-60, in the team's latest outing.
South Dakota holds a very slim 40-39-1 all-time series lead with Omaha. The two teams will meet again later this regular season on Feb. 20 in Vermillion, S.D.
South Dakota couldn't do much to stop, or even slow down the Western Illinois shooting attack Thursday night, as the Leathernecks hit 62 percent of their shots in the win. Tyler Flack led the Coyotes in scoring with 11 points on 4- of-8 shooting from the floor. Brandon Bos and Adam Thoseby each turned in 10- point performances for South Dakota, which collectively shot 38.5 percent from the field. The Coyotes really struggled in the first half, going 8-of-21 from the floor, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range.
Bos tops the roster this season in scoring average, with 13.3 ppg on 41.5 percent shooting. Trevor Gruis isn't very far behind at 12.2 ppg, as the two players are the only one to average double-digit point totals this season. Gruis leads the Coyotes in rebounding at 6.2 rpg. Trey Norris bests the squad in both assists (86) and steals (26). South Dakota averages 70.7 ppg.
Nebraska Omaha, which previously had a six-game home win streak, saw that disappear Thursday night as Denver hit 53 percent of its 3-point tries in the Pioneers' victory. John Karhoff was the only Maverick to score in double digits Thursday, netting 18 points and dishing out a team-best five assists. The Mavericks connected on 47.9 percent of their shots in the game, hitting just 4-of-15 from 3-point range.
Karhoff leads the team in scoring this season, but only by a slim margin. Karhoff nets 13.9 ppg on 53.9 percent shooting from the floor, while C.J. Carter scores 13.8 ppg for the Mavericks. Devin Patterson, who is third in scoring on the team with 11.4 ppg, tops the squad in assists with 67 total this year. Omaha averages an impressive 81.2 ppg this season, and gives up just 74.6 ppg to opponents, but is still just 1-3 in conference play.
In the last five games, Omaha has had trouble keeping its opponents from scoring at least 71 points per game. The defense has to step it up, or the South Dakota offense will run all over the Mavericks.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota 77, Nebraska Omaha 68
01/25 10:30:55 ET