#SummitMBB Weekly Notebook: No. 4

Senior Conner Avants is leading The Summit League in field goal percentage, knocking down 71.2 percent of his attempts early in the 2018-19 campaign.
Senior Conner Avants is leading The Summit League in field goal percentage, knocking down 71.2 percent of his attempts early in the 2018-19 campaign.

WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: NO. 4 (w/Stats)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. --
As November winds down and December begins to come into focus, The Summit League membership has a busy week of non-conference action that culminates with the busiest day of the non-conference season on Saturday. Seven of the league's nine members will be in action that includes three Summit League-WAC Challenge series matchups, two contests that in the U.S. Bank Classic that will be the first basketball games held inside the Minneapolis-based venue that will host the 2019 Final Four.

FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED ...
• South Dakota State senior Mike Daum became the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,399 career points and needs only 106 to become The Summit League's all-time leading scorer.
• Omaha went 2-0 last week and senior Zach Jackson averaged 26.5 ppg in those two victories and has now reached double figures in all seven of the Mavs' games this season.
• North Dakota senior Conner Avants leads The Summit League and ranks 13th nationally in field goal percentage (71.2) -- he had a pair of 20-plus point performances during a 1-1 week for the Fighting Hawks.
• Purdue Fort Wayne is averaging a league-best 9.9 3-pointers per game and Mike Helba nailed a trifecta with one second remaining to beat Cleveland State on the road.
• Denver's Ronnie Harrell, Jr., scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Pioneers to a 64-62 victory over Longwood at the Elgin Baylor Classic.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (TV/Streaming) | Game times local to site
Monday, November 26

(1) Gonzaga 102, North Dakota State 60
Iowa State 82, Omaha 55

Tuesday, November 27
South Dakota at Baylor (FSSW+) 7 p.m.
North Dakota at Montana State (PLUTO) 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 28
Omaha at Arizona State (Pac-12) 6 p.m.
Kansas City at South Dakota State (MSN2/E+) 7 p.m.
Northern Colorado vs. Denver (Altitude) 7 p.m.
Purdue Fort Wayne at Eastern Illinois 7 p.m.
SIU-Edwardsville at Western Illinois (WIU-TV/E+) 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 1
Kansas City at Purdue Fort Wayne 2 p.m.
Idaho at North Dakota (FSN/E+) 3 p.m.
CSU Bakersfield at South Dakota (MSN2/E3) 3:30 p.m.
North Dakota State vs. Drake^ (MSN/E+) 5:30 p.m.
Western Illinois at SEMO (E+) 6:30 p.m.
Denver at Utah Valley (WACDN) 7 p.m.
South Dakota State vs. UNI^ (MSN/E+)8 p.m.

Sunday, December 2
Oral Roberts at SMU (E3) 2 p.m.

SUMMIT POINTS
THE SUMMIT LEAGUE/WAC CHALLENGE SERIES HEATS UP WITH THREE TILTS ON DEC. 1
The  WAC holds a slight 2-1 lead in the challenge series with The Summit League thanks to a half-court heave from Cal Baptist's Milan Acquaah. The buzzer-beater gave the Lancers a 70-69 victory over Oral Roberts. The next three matchups will be packed into the first day of December when Kansas City plays at Purdue Fort Wayne, CSU Bakersfield plays at South Dakota and Denver plays at Utah Valley.

It didn't take long for the inaugural series to get underway as both leagues' preseason favorites picked up wins on opening night of the college basketball season. South Dakota State held off Grand Canyon, who was picked second in the WAC preseason poll, 79-74 while NM State defeated North Dakota State 73-56 later that night to even the series at 1-1.

THE NET RESULTS
This is the first week for the NCAA's new "NET" rankings system, which replaced the RPI from year's past. Through games of Nov. 26, here's how The Summit League members stacked up:

South Dakota State (140)
South Dakota (169)
North Dakota (203)
North Dakota State (212)
Denver (230)
Omaha (234)
Purdue Fort Wayne (238)
Oral Roberts (305)
Western Illinois (316) 

The rankings can be found here and are updated daily.

TEAM TRACKER
NOTING THE PIONEERS

• The Pioneers return home after going 1-2 at the Elgin Baylor Classic held this past weekend in Seattle, Wash.
• DU sandwiched a win over Longwood in the second game between losses to host Seattle U and Fairfield in a span of three days.
• The Pioneers played all three games without senior guard Joe Rosga (12.3 ppg) and junior forward Jake Krafka (4.3 ppg), who had each started DU's first three games.
• Ronnie Harrell, Jr., had a career-high 23 points in the win over Longwood, knocking down a career-high six 3-pointers in the victory. He backed that up with a 21-point effort in a one-point loss to Fairfield.
• The Creighton graduate transfer has reached double figures in five of six games in his first campaign at DU.

NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS
• UND split a pair of games last week, picking up a 33-point win over Concordia (Neb.) before falling by six at Utah Valley.
• Senior Conner Avants had back-to-back games with 20-plus points last week. He leads The Summit League with a 71.2 field goal percentage (13th nationally).
• Classmate Cortez Seales registered the first double-double of his career with 19 points and 10 rebounds against Utah Valley. He also added five assists.
• In the win over Concordia, freshman Filip Rebraca recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
• UND has back-to-back games this week against former Big Sky foes. The first is a road tilt at Montana State on Tuesday before returning to Grand Forks for the team's first DI home game against Idaho on Saturday.

NOTING THE BISON
• The Bison were on opposite sides of the country for contests in a three-day stretch that saw them fall 79-61 at East Tennessee State on Saturday before traveling to the state of Washington to take on top-ranked Gonzaga on Monday.
• The Bulldogs wore down the Bison to post a 102-60 victory. NDSU led 19-18 midway through the first half, but an ensuing 19-0 run by the home team put the game out of reach. It was the second time in program history that the Bison faced the No. 1 team in the country (2012 at No. 1 Indiana).
• JUCO-transfer Vinnie Shahid scored a season-high 16 points.
• Sophomore Deng Geu is averaging 9.4 ppg and leads the team with 10 blocks coming off the bench.

NOTING THE MAVERICKS
• After posting a pair of wins last week, Omaha had the tall task of facing a 5-1 Iowa State team on Monday. The Cyclones opened the game on an 11-0 run and never trailed in the 82-55 victory.
• Senior Zach Jackson, who was The Summit League's Co-Player of the Week, reached double figures for the seventh-straight game to open the season. He had 13 points, while J.T. Gibson led the Mavs with 16.
• Last week, Jackson averaged 26.5 ppg in wins over Bethune-Cookman and Montana State. He capped the week with a career-high 33 points against the Bobcats.
• Gibson, Jackson and teammate Ayo Akinwole are near the top of The Summit League charts in steals to start the season. Gibson ranks second with 13, Jackson is third with 12 and Akinwole has 11 off the bench for the Mavs to rank fourth.

NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
• Oral Roberts capped the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic with a 78-69 overtime win against James Madison.
• Junior Emmanuel Nzekwesi posted back-to-back double-doubles in the final two games in Rochester. He had 18 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to host Oakland, then added 22 points and 12 rebounds in the OT-win against the Dukes.
• Nzekwesi, who had started the first seven games of the season, came off the bench in those two contests.
• The Golden Eagles lead the league in non-conference play in offensive rebounding (11.0/g). Nzekwesi is averaging more than two offensive boards per game (2.1/g).

NOTING THE MASTODONS
• Purdue Fort Wayne picked up its first road win of the season at Cleveland State thanks to a 3-pointer by Matt Holba with one second to play.
• Holba's long-range shot gave the Mastodons an 82-79 victory and established a new career-high for the junior with 21 points.
• The Mastodons improved to 4-4 on the season and have not won or lost back-to-back games yet in 2018-19.
• Holba and company are averaging a Summit League-best 9.9 3-pointers per game and he leads the team with 17 makes from deep.
• John Konchar continues to pace the team in scoring (16.4 ppg), rebounding (8.0 rpg) and assists (4.5 apg).
• The Mastodons play at Eastern Illinois on Wednesday.

NOTING THE COYOTES
• After an 8-day break following a trip to The Bahamas, the Coyotes return to action with a tough test at Baylor on Tuesday.
• The Coyotes salvaged a win down at the inaugural Bimini Jam, defeating UMBC -- who last season was the first 16-seed to beat a No. 1 seed (Virginia) in the NCAA Tournament, 56-52.
• Senior Trey Burch-Manning hit the 20-point plateau for the fourth time in five games this season to pace the Coyotes in the victory.
• Burch-Manning is shooting an absurd 13-for-18 from beyond the arc to start the season (72.2 percent).
• Triston Simpson added nine points, failing to reach double figures for the first time after setting a pair of career-highs in points earlier in the season (23 vs.  York, 24 vs. Northern Arizona).

NOTING THE JACKRABBITS
• After dropping an opening-round tilt to Tulane at the Gulf Coast Showcase, SDSU responded by winning twice to take fifth place at the tournament in Estero, Fla.
• Senior Mike Daum shared his 13th career Summit League Player of the Week award after averaging 26.7 ppg and 9.7 rpg in The Sunshine State.
• Daum became the program's all-time scoring leader after a 41-point outburst in the win over UTSA in the second round.
• Sophomore David Jenkins, Jr., had his second 30-plus point outing of the season in the fifth-place against Colorado State, scoring a season-high 32 points against the Rams. 

NOTING THE FIGHTING LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks dropped their third-straight game at Nebraska on Saturday. The first two setbacks in that stretch were by just two points each as WIU followed a 60-58 overtime loss at Eastern Illinois with a 92-90 loss at UT-Martin.
• Sophomore Kobe Webster had reached double figures in the first six games for the Leathernecks before being held to a season-low three points against the Huskers.
• Webster ranks seventh among Summit League players in scoring (16.7 ppg) during non-conference play.
• C.J. Duff led WIU in scoring against Nebraska with 13 points and has reached double figures in three straight. He is second on the team in scoring (11.3/g).
• WIU plays on its homecourt for the first time in two weeks Wednesday against SIU-Edwardsville.

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