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Jacks host Tigers in home opener

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/13/2012 11:05:33

The first road trip in the books, South Dakota State comes home to open the home schedule on Tuesday against the Tennessee State Tigers from the Ohio Valley Conference. 

The Jackrabbits open the home schedule riding a 17 game winning streak at Frost Arena, a streak that includes a 14-0 mark in 2011-12 and dates back to a 63-58 loss to UMKC on Jan. 27, 2011. 

The Jackrabbits return home for their second game of the season, after opening with a loss at Alabama on Friday.

Tied at 67 with time ticking down in South Dakota State's season-opener in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Crimson Tide's Trevor Lacey sank a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the Jackrabbits home with a 70-67 loss in front of 11,669 fans at Coleman Coliseum.

Nate Wolters led all players with 30 points, including a career-high five three-pointers. He also added three each in rebounds and assists. Jordan Dykstra finished with 16 points and led all players with nine rebounds.

Four Crimson Tide finished in double figures, led by Trevor Releford's 18 points. Rodney Cooper added 17, Lacey 15 and Andrew Steele 11 points in the win.

After exchanging early baskets, the Jackrabbits took the lead on a Dykstra jumper just over two minutes into the game, a lead that reached as many as 13 points and a lead that the Jacks would hold onto until a Releford layup put the Crimson Tide up 42-41 with 11:06 left in the game.

The Jacks' 13-point lead came at the 4:14 mark of the first half, but Alabama closed the half on an 11-0 run, thanks in large part to six Jackrabbit turnovers over the final four minutes of the half.

SDSU got the lead back to five points early in the second half before Alabama forced the only lead change of the game on the Releford layup.

The Jacks forced two ties before forcing the final tie at 67-67 on a Tony Fiegen jumper from the wing with 34 seconds left.

Alabama called a timeout with 16 seconds left setting the stage for Lacey, who hit the floating three-pointer as time expired to win the game.

RABBITS ON THE RADIO - Originated from the AM 570 WNAX studios in Yankton, S.D., SDSU men's basketball games can be heard on a total of five stations throughout South Dakota on the Jackrabbit Sports Network.

  • 570 AM - WNAX - Yankton
  • 910 AM - KJJQ "The Ranch" - Brookings
  • 1060 AM - KGFX - Pierre
  • 1480 AM KSDR - Watertown
  • 1490 AM - KORN - Mitchell

Pierre, S.D., native Tyler Merriam returns for his second season as the voice of Jackrabbit men's basketball, and also serves as the voice of Jackrabbit football.

THE JACKRABBIT EXTRA ON - Subscribers to the Jackrabbit Extra on watch every Jackrabbit home game and select road games streaming live on the internet. In addition, subscribers can listen to every game, home and on the road, streaming live on the internet. 

To learn more about the Jackrabbit Extra, or to subscribe, log onto and click on "SIGN UP NOW"

THE JACKRABBIT INSIDER ON FOX - Fans of South Dakota State Athletics can get a weekly behind-the-scenes look at all 21 Jackrabbit varsity sports teams by tuning into "The Jackrabbit Insider."

Hosted by Tyler Merriam, the show airs on Sundays on KTTW FOX 17 at 10:30 p.m., and can also be seen on Fox Sports North at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

WOLTERS CLIMBS THE 1,000-POINT CLUB LADDER - Nate Wolters became the 42nd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club in a win over Sam Houston State on Nov. 22, and instantly began the climb up the all time list. He the week with 1,658 career points, good for fourth all-time at SDSU, and 158 points shy of passing current assistant coach Austin Hansen (1,815 points from 1999-2003 for third on the all-time list.

WOLTERS SETS SDSU JUNIOR SCORING RECORD - Already the SDSU sophomore scoring record holder, Nate Wolters added the junior scoring record to his list of accomplishments in the Jacks 75-64 win over IUPUI on Feb. 25, 2012. Wolters finished his junior season with 721 points, breaking the previous record by 88 points.

WOLTERS CHASES ALL-TIME SCORING RECORD - Nate Wolters scored 907 points in his first two years as a Jackrabbit, including the SDSU sophomore record with 604 points. His SDSU junior record of 721 points gave him 1,628 career points, leaving him 304 points shy of breaking the SDSU of 1,931. His 30 points so far this season leaves him 274 points shy of the record.

WOLTERS NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The Summit League named South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters its initial men's basketball player of the week on Monday after his 30-point effort in the season-opener at Alabama. The honor marks the ninth of Wolters' career, tying him for the second-highest total on record.

A senior from St. Cloud, Minn., Wolters poured in 30 of the Jacks 67 points against an Alabama defense that ranked ninth nationally last season in scoring. He made a career-high five three-pointers on six attempts and converted 10-of-15 field goals and all five free throw attempts in the nationally-televised opening night contest. Wolters added three assists, three steals and three rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.

MORE THAN JUST A SCORER - In addition to his scoring prowess, Nate Wolters continues his climb up the all-time assists charts at SDSU. His 188 assists as a sophomore represents the third best single-season total in SDSU history, and his 202 as a junior marks the second-highest single-season total at SDSU. Adding to that, his 476 career assists ranks second all-time at SDSU, 130 shy of breaking the all-time mark of 605 assists.

WOLTERS ON MULTIPLE AWARDS WATCH LISTS - The only player in Division I men's basketball to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in 2011-12 put senior Nate Wolters on the national map, which led him earning place on multiple preseason awards lists.

DYKSTRA CLOSING IN ON 1,OOO-POINT MILESTONE - Junior Jordan Dykstra scored 351 points as a freshman and 362 points as a sophomore, which gave him 713 for his to start the season. His 16 points this season gives him 729 for his career, 271 shy of becoming the 43rd member of the SDSU 1,000-Point Club. 

PERFECT AT HOME - SDSU capped its third-ever perfect season at home with a 75-64 win over IUPUI on Feb. 25, 2012 for a perfect 14-0 mark at Frost Arena. The win also makes it 17 in a row for the Jacks at home.

SDSU went a perfect 18-0 at home in 1984-85, and 17-0 in the 2002-03.

NOT JUST NATE - Nate Wolters led the Jacks with 21.2 points per game last year and reached double figures in all 34 games he played, but he got plenty of help. In addition to Wolters' 34 games in double figures, the Jackrabbits combined for 84 double-figure performances in 35 games. 

At least four Jackrabbits scored 10 points in the same game 15 times last season, with four players reaching double figures nine times, five players reaching double figures five times and six players once.

DYKSTRA SETS SDSU THREE-POINT RECORD - Jordan Dykstra made his final two three-point attempts vs. Buffalo on Feb. 18, 2012, went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc against Western Illinois on Feb. 23, 2012, and made his first four three-point attempts vs. IUPUI in Feb. 25, 2012. That marks 11 consecutive three-pointers over a span of three games and a new SDSU record, breaking the old mark of nine in a row.

NAGY NOTCHES 300th CAREER WIN - Already the most prolific coach in SDSU history, head coach Scott Nagy entered the 2011-12 season with 289 wins, just 11 shy of reaching the 300-win milestone, which he reached in the Jackrabbits 94-58 win over IPFW on Dec. 28, 2012. Nagy finished the 2011-12 season with a 316-198 career record and a .615 winning percentage. 

JACKS POST FIRST 20-WIN SEASON AT DIVISON I - The South Dakota State Men's Basketball team beat UMKC 75-62 on Feb. 11, for their 20th win of the season, and first at the Division I level. The program now boasts 20 seasons with at least 20 wins, nine of which came during the Scott Nagy era.

JACKS TIE SCHOOL RECORD FOR WINS - Scott Nagy led the Jackrabbits to a school record 27-win season in 2003-04, the program's final season in Division II, and equaled that mark in 2011-12 with a 27-8 record.

THE JACKRABBITS IN THE MID-MAJOR TOP-25 - The Jackrabbits opened the season ranked No. 12 in the Mid-Major Top-25 poll, and held strong at No. 12 in the poll released on Nov. 12.


Tennessee State Tigers (0-1, 0-1 Away) - Picked to finish second in the East Division of the Ohio Valley Conference, the Tigers started the season with an 81-66 loss at BYU on Friday in Provo, Utah.

Senior Kellen Thornton led the Tigers with 29 points in the loss, and added eight rebounds. Junior Patrick Miller finished with 12 points, as the only other Tiger player to reach double figures in the game.

Tennessee State went 20-13 last season, its first 20-win season since the 1978-79 season.

This season, Travis Williams takes over as the Tigers head coach after serving as an assistant coach on the Tigers staff for three seasons under John Cooper, who left to coach at Miami (Ohio). Williams returns 10 players and four starters back from last season, including All-OVC selection Robert Covington, who ranked second in the OVC last year in rebounding with 7.9 per game and third in scoring with 17.9 points per game. A preseason All-OVC selection, Miller returns after averaging 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season.

The Series vs. Tennessee State - The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 2-1, including a win in the first meeting on Dec. 12, 1956 in Brookings and in the last meeting on Dec. 22, 2004 in Nashville, Tenn. The lone Tiger win came at the Division II Elite Eight in Evansville, Ind., on March 11, 1970.  

The Last meeting; at Tennessee State, Dec. 22, 2004 - Tennessee State's Kareem Grant tied the game at 80-all with a three-pointer with 14 seconds left in the contest, but Brady Hokenson answered on the other end with the game-winning jumper that put the Jackrabbits up 82-80 and sealed the win for South Dakota State inside the Gentry Center.

The Jackrabbits, who trailed by as many as 12 points with just under eight minutes to play, actually led by seven points midway through the first half before the Tigers closed the half on a 19-9 run to lead 40-37 at the break.

Tennessee State scored first in the second half and held onto the momentum in building a 65-53 lead with 7:56 left to play.

A Steve Holdren layup cut the lead to 10 and a three-pointer by a Luke Geiver with 6:41 left cut the lead to seven, as the Jacks continued to chip away at the lead until they eventually tied the contest at 75-75 on a Holdren jumper with 1:19 on the clock.

Two more ties and two more lead changes would follow before Hokenson's shot gave the Jackrabbits the 82-20 win.

Geiver led the Jackrabbits with 26 points in the win. Hokenson added 12 points and dished out 11 assists to complete the double-double. Holdren added 10 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double of his own. Andy Kleinjan finished with 11 points in just 14 minutes off the bench.

NEXT UP FOR THE JACKRABBITS - SDSU hits the road for three games in Hempstead, N.Y., at the 2K Sports Classic benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. The Jacks open with host Hofstra on Friday at  7 p.m. ET, with games against Marshall on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET and against the University of the District of Columbia on Sunday in the final game of the tournament at 12:30 p.m. ET.

SDSU returns home to Frost Arena to start a three game home stand on Wednesday, Nov. 21, against Southwest Minnesota State at 7 p.m.