So much more to cover from a sizable weekend in South Dakota State hoops …
Predictably, every phone even remotely related to the SDSU men’s basketball team was bombarded with well wishes after the 70-65 win at No. 16-ranked New Mexico, the first top-25 upset in program history.
True to form, coach Scott Nagy had an interesting take on this.
“I’d prefer people text me after he lose,” he said. “I have no friends after we lose, and today I’ve got 100 texts to answer.”
As for the maybe 10-15 SDSU fans that were in The Pit for the upset, they waited near the team bus to snap pictures with the victories.
“It was pretty cool,” senior Nate Wolters said. “They were rooting for us all day.”
Saturday marked the third time that a Summit squad has knocked off the No. 16-ranked team. In 1986, Cleveland State beat Indiana and Green Bay did the same to Cal eight years later. However, both of those were NCAA tournament games played at neutral sites. The Jacks claimed a true road win - and in front of what’s believed to be the largest crowd ever to see an SDSU victory: 15,278. The previous high: 11,700 at Iowa in 2010.
For what it’s worth, the Jacks wore black when beating the Hawkeyes just as they did against the Lobos on Saturday and in winning at Washington last season.
Another common thread in those three wins: Wolters going nuts. The point guard totaled 87 points, 23 assists and 11 boards.
Jacks junior forward Jordan Dykstra notched two double-doubles in the first 72 games of his college career. He’s posted three in the last five games.
On a related note, SDSU is 7-0 this season when finishing with a rebound advantage. That includes a 36-28 edge over New Mexico, the Lobos largest deficit this season.
Coach Steve Alford had been 52-4 in non-conference home games leading the Lobos and hadn’t lost a December home game since 2006-07 when he was still at Iowa.
By beating Georgetown on Friday, the SDSU women have three wins over power-conference teams this season. That’s the most since claiming five during the magical 2008-09 season. The Jacks won a total of one in the three seasons in between.
SDSU has 12 such victories since joining the Summit League in 2007. The rest of the league has combined for seven in that time.
Those major-conference triumphs are what sets apart this non-conference season from the last couple. That’s because SDSU won eight, seven and eight regular-season non-conference contests in the past three seasons, respectively.
But, again, just one power-conference win in that time (and one D-II win, too). This year, SDSU has topped three teams that have been ranked or receiving votes: Nebraska, Georgetown and Middle Tennessee State.
Jacks coach Aaron Johnston expects that center Katie Lingle, who missed the Georgetown game due to a laceration on her forehead suffered against Delaware State, should be back sooner rather than later.
SDSU senior guard Ashley Eide had arguably the best weekend of her career in wins over Delware State and the Hoyas, totaling 52 points in 59 minutes on 17 of 27 shooting with nine 3-pointers, 18 rebounds, six assists and four steals. She now leads the team in scoring at 15.3 per game.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.