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South Dakota State (19-11) vs. IUPU-Ft Wayne (23-9)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, March 10, 9:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Sioux Falls Arena (7,100) -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Television: Midco Sports Net, FCS. Home Record: SDSU 11-3, IPFW 12-2. Away Record: SDSU 7-7, IPFW 8-7. Neutral Record: SDSU 1-1, IPFW 3-0. Conference Record: SDSU 10-4, IPFW 10-4. Series Record: South Dakota State leads, 12-9.

GAME NOTES: A pair of teams coming off blowout wins in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament prepare to face off in the semifinals of the 30th annual event at Sioux Falls Arena, as the South Dakota State Jackrabbits meet up with the Mastodons of IUPU-Ft Wayne.

Fort Wayne, the second seed in this year's tourney, got the ball rolling on Saturday as the team crushed IUPUI in an 85-47 final. Not only did the program tie the school record for wins in a season (38) with the decision, the 38- point margin of victory tied for the second-largest in Summit League Tournament history as well.

Meanwhile South Dakota State, the two-time defending tournament champion and this year's third seed, broke into action on Sunday night versus Western Illinois and beat down the Leathernecks in a 71-50 final. The triumph moved South Dakota State's all-time record in this event to 8-3.

The teams split their two meetings during the regular season, with the Mastodons posting an 82-75 victory at home back in January, and SDSU crushing the visitors less than a month later, 79-51. As a result, the all-time series now stands at 12-9 in favor of the Jackrabbits.

The winner of this meeting will be back on the floor tomorrow night in the title game versus the survivor of the Denver/North Dakota State contest for the right to represent the Summit League in the NCAA Tournament.

Less than six minutes into the meeting last night, the Jackrabbits found themselves trailing Western Illinois by six points and considering SDSU ended up shooting a mere 2-of-10 behind the 3-point line in the period, it was lucky to be ahead by three at the break, 26-23. In the second half the defense for the Jacks held WIU to a mere eight field goals, while the offense stepped up at the free-throw line and knocked down 19-of-25 to secure the win.

Jordan Dykstra registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds as SDSU crushed the Leathernecks on the glass, 39-25, while Brayden Carlson tallied a team-best 13 points on a mere 3-of-9 shooting from the field. Chad White and reserve Marcus Heemstra pitched in with 10 points apiece as well.

The Mastodons trailed early against IUPUI over the weekend, but that was before the offense got into rhythm and knocked down 52.9 percent from the floor, en route to a 40-22 advantage at the break. If the Jaguars thought that was tough to defend, there was little chance the team would be prepared to stop Fort Wayne in the second half as the squad converted a sizzling 63.0 percent from the field, on the way to the massive 38-point win.

Luis Jacobo was responsible for a team-best 19 points, Mo Evans followed with 13, Steve Forbes put up 11 points and nine rebounds, while Joe Edwards came off the bench to offer up 10 points and four assists. Another strong performance from a reserve was delivered by Joe Reed with his nine points and eight rebounds, helping the Mastodons post a 39-23 advantage on the glass and limit the opposition to just five offensive rebounds.

The Mastodons have to be careful not to believe their own hype right now after that crushing win they posted just a few days back. Their opponent may not have been as dominant in their victory on Sunday and they might be a bit tired after the quick turn-around, but there is something to be said for previous success in crucial games this time of year.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: South Dakota State 75, IUPU-Ft Wayne 69

03/10 10:33:30 ET

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