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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sioux Falls Arena (7,500) -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Television: FCS, Midco Sports. Home Record: IUPUI 4-10, SDSU 13-0. Away Record: IUPUI 1-13, SDSU 7-9. Neutral Record: IUPUI 1-2, SDSU 2-0. Conference Record: IUPUI 1-15, SDSU 13-3. Series Record: South Dakota State leads, 7-6.
GAME NOTES: The 2013 Summit League Tournament tips off on Saturday, as the top-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits tangle with the eighth-seeded IUPUI Jaguars at Sioux Falls Arena in quarterfinal-round action.
The winner will advance to Monday's semifinals, where it will face the winner of Sunday's matchup between Oakland and IUPU-Fort Wayne.
There hasn't been much to get excited about when referring to IUPUI's season, as it sits with just a 6-25 overall record and a woeful 1-15 league ledger. The Jaguars haven't tasted victory since Dec. 27, and their losing streak was extended to 15 games in the regular-season finale when they fell to UMKC, 48-44.
Meanwhile, SDSU has soared this year, going 22-9 overall and earning a share of the Summit League title with Western Illinois by going 13-3 in the league, although it earned the No. 1 seed in this event by winning the tie-breaker over the Leathernecks. The Jackrabbits dropped a pair of non-conference road games to Cal State-Bakersfield (79-78 in OT) and Murray State (73-62) before closing out the season with a 100-82 triumph at Nebraska Omaha on Feb. 28.
SDSU defeated IUPUI twice this season by a combined 52 points. The Jackrabbits have won six straight versus the Jaguars and lead the all-time series by a 7-6 margin as a result.
IUPUI ultimately fell short of UMKC in a defensive struggle last Saturday by shooting just 36.6 percent from the floor (including 4-of-19 from 3-point range), while turning the ball over 15 times. Putting up nearly half the Jaguars' point total was Mitchell Patton, who tallied 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and five blocks, while Sean Esposito finished with 10 points, but on just 4-of-13 accuracy from the field. Not surprisingly, IUPUI registers near the bottom of the Summit League rankings in both scoring offense (66.0 ppg) and scoring defense (76.9 ppg), while sporting a -7.1 rebounding margin and a -0.9 turnover margin. With John Hart (14.2 ppg) ruled ineligible in January, Patton (13.6 ppg) has taken over as the top scoring threat, making nearly 59 percent of his field goal attempts. Donovan Gibbs adds 10.2 ppg and a team-high 6.4 rpg to the equation.
SDSU cracked the century mark on the scoreboard for the first time this season in its 18-point victory over Omaha last time out, as it shot a lofty 37-of-64 from the field (.578). Pacing six players in double figures was Chad White, who shot 8-of-11 from the field for 23 points to go along with nine rebounds. Nate Wolters (18 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds) and Jordan Dykstra (14 points, 17 rebounds) both tallied double-doubles, while Tony Fiegen (14 points), Brayden Carlson (13 points) and Marcus Heemstra rounded out the balanced offensive effort. The Jackrabbits' efforts are usually paced by Wolters, who won the Summit League Player of the Year award by stuffing the stat sheet with 22.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.7 apg and 1.7 spg, all while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field, and at season's end he'll be the only player in NCAA history to have averaged 20 points, five assists and five rebounds per game in two different seasons. Dykstra scores 12.3 ppg and grabs 7.9 rpg, while White nets 10.1 ppg for SDSU, which has been strong both offensively (74.2 ppg) and defensively (66.4 ppg) this season.
IUPUI has been a directionless team for several months now, and anything less than a SDSU blowout would be a surprise.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 85, IUPUI 60
03/09 10:41:40 ET