Some extra items from the weekend that was in South Dakota State hoops:
There were eight NBA teams at the SDSU game in Indianapolis on Saturday, an easy first stop in advance of the Gonzaga at Butler game later that evening.
Still, attendance in The Jungle was just 506 - the smallest crowd to see SDSU play this season.
The SDSU men are starting to string together considerable win streaks over several Summit foes. They’ve beaten Western Illinois eight straight, Fort Wayne six straight and IUPUI five straight plus 7 of 8 against Kansas City.
The Jacks make the turn in conference play at 6-2, one game back of both Western Illinois and North Dakota State. Both of those teams visit Frost in the second half of the conference slate. The Jacks have only three road conference contests left at Fort Wayne, Oakland and Omaha.
SDSU has won four in a row, its longest streak of the season. That’s one difference from last year when the Jacks ripped off runs of five in a row, four in a row and eight in a row.
With two weeks left until the announcement of the BracketBusters pairings, SDSU looks to be in roughly fourth place out of the designated road teams in terms of RPI. There will be 13 nationally televised pairings.
All five SDSU starters – Nate Wolters, Jordan Dykstra, Tony Fiegen, Chad White and Brayden Carlson – are averaging at least 9.0 points per game. They’re all playing at least 29 minutes per game, too.
The junior Dykstra is 20 points away from 1,000 for his career.
On the women’s side, SDSU was unable to avoid the fray of another weird weekend. To wit, the Jacks hammered Western Illinois on Thursday, while NDSU edged IUPUI. On Saturday, the Jags stunned SDSU, while the Leathernecks beat the Bison. Meanwhile, WIU won the first meeting with IUPUI this season by 19 and on the road.
The 56 points posted by SDSU was its lowest total since its last loss, a 50-point showing at nationally ranked Penn State. Also, Megan Waytashek was held out of double digits for the first time in seven games, while Ashley Eide was so stymied for the first time in five games. Both turned in season low shooting percentages.
Jags coach Austin Parkinson said after the game sort of apologized for the excitement his players showed after the win, their first in 13 tries in the series. But part of that stemmed from the fans that he’s constantly on them about trying to like SDSU - doing the right things all the time.
“You can’t flip that switch,” he said.
IUPUI was the last only team in the Summit that had never beaten the Jacks. It now joins the one-win club along with Fort Wayne, Western Illinois and Kansas City.
SDSU finished minus-9 on the glass, its second-worst showing of the season. The Jacks are 3-4 this season when losing the rebound margin.
They also struggled from deep, tying a season-low with three 3-pointers - and on 23 attempts. They had averaged 10 makes over the previous three games.
It wasn’t for lack of opportunities. SDSU forced 25 turnovers and finished plus-10 in margin, its highest spread of the season. The Jacks have won the turnover battle in six of the last seven games and have yet to commit more than 18 in a conference game.
SDSU coach Aaron Johnston on the fact that some comments he made after a blowout win Thursday seemed to predict that a loss might be on the horizon: “Did I see a loss coming? I don’t ever see a loss coming. But I guess I’m not too surprise we lost, either. I don’t think we’re so good that we can just show up and beat anybody. We’ve got to show up and play well.”
Still, the Jacks have a 1.5-game lead atop the Summit and play just one game this week - Saturday at newcomer Omaha. That will conclude the first lap around the conference.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.