IUPU-Fort Wayne (8-10) at South Dakota State (12-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Frost Arena (6,500) -- Brookings, South Dakota. Television: None. Home Record: IPFW 6-0, SDSU 7-0. Away Record: IPFW 1-9, SDSU 3-6. Neutral Record: IPFW 1-1, SDSU 2-0. Conference Record: IPFW 1-3, SDSU 3-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 8-8.
GAME NOTES: The South Dakota State Jackrabbits will attempt to keep their unbeaten record at Frost Arena alive on Saturday afternoon, as they play host to the IUPU-Fort Wayne Mastodons in a Summit League showdown.
IPFW had started off the 2013 calendar year on the right foot by posting back- to-back wins over Navy (68-63) and Nebraska Omaha (96-78), but its run came to a halt on Thursday night with a 67-55 loss at the hands of North Dakota State. It's been a tale of two seasons for the Mastodons, who have won all six of their home games, but are just 1-9 on the road.
The Jackrabbits returned to Frost Arena for the first time since Dec. 9 and they welcomed their home fans back with an 81-74 triumph over Oakland, which moved them above .500 in league play. While SDSU has been spotty at best away from home, in Brookings, it has played outstanding basketball, winning all seven contests.
SDSU has won the last five meetings with IPFW to even the all-time series at 8-8.
The Mastodons kept their latest game close in the first half, but they couldn't hang with North Dakota State, as they got outshot from the field, .571 to .377, in what turned out to be a 12-point loss. Luis Jacobo had his share of struggles from the floor (6-of-15), but he managed to drain five 3- pointers in the defeat on his way to 21 points. Frank Gaines added 12 points, but he too was off the mark with his shot (5-of-15). It's no surprise that IPFW gets outshot on a regular basis, as its field goal percentage (.411) is much lower than that of its opponents (.441), but it still boasts a plus-2.2 scoring margin thanks to holding a plus-4.7 advantage on the glass. Despite making less than 40 percent of his total shots this season, Gaines ranks third in the Summit League in scoring, putting up 18.6 ppg thanks to a plethora of trips to the foul line (111-of-145, .766). Jacobo tacks on 11.2 ppg, while Mario Hines adds 8.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.3 bpg from his spot in the frontcourt.
Most of SDSU's meeting with Oakland was close, as the game featured 15 ties through the first 30 minutes, but the Jackrabbits took a 55-53 lead midway through the second half on a Jordan Dykstra jumper, and they never surrendered that advantage. They put forth an outstanding shooting night from both the field (28-of-55) and the foul line (20-of-25), and Dykstra was the catalyst in the seven-point win, logging a double-double consisting of 22 points and 13 rebounds. Tony Fiegen was also impressive with a career-high 24 points, while Nate Wolters tallied 16 points and nine assists. On the season, the Jackrabbits are one of the most efficient teams in the conference, making 45.2 percent of their field goal attempts and 74.8 percent of their free throws en route to a league-high 72.6 ppg. They certainly benefit from having one of the best guards in the nation on their side in Nate Wolters, who leads the league in scoring at 20.7 ppg while also adding 6.1 rpg, 5.7 apg and 1.5 spg to his stat line. Dykstra accounts for 12.8 ppg and 6.7 rpg, while shooting a lofty 47.2 percent from beyond the arc, and Fiegen (9.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Brayden Carlson (9.4 ppg) have also made significant contributions.
Simply put, IPFW has not shown the ability to put together quality performances on the road, and it will have its hands full once again in perhaps the most hostile opposing venue in the Summit League.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 77, IUPU-Fort Wayne 62
01/12 11:22:48 ET