#SummitMBB Weekly Notebook: No. 10

ORU redshirt freshman Kevin Obanor is averaging 20.3 ppg off the bench during the Golden Eagles' 3-0 start to league play.
ORU redshirt freshman Kevin Obanor is averaging 20.3 ppg off the bench during the Golden Eagles' 3-0 start to league play.
WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 10 (w/stats)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. --
Parity among the league's nine members has already started to show up in the opening two weeks of the #SummitMBB schedule.  Only two teams remain unbeaten and that will dwindle down to one after Oral Roberts (3-0) travels to the Hoosier State to take on Purdue Fort Wayne (3-0). That is one of four key league matchups slated for Thursday that also includes contests between Denver (0-4) and South Dakota State (2-1), Omaha (2-1) and North Dakota (1-2), and Western Illinois (1-2) and North Dakota State (1-2). 

FIVE THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED...
• Oral Roberts' frontcourt duo of Emmanuel Nzekwesi (24.3 ppg) and Kevin Obanor (20.3 ppg) have the Golden Eagles off to a 3-0 start in league play for the second straight season. Obanor is both the league's top-scoring rookie and reserve. Those two Golden Eagles have also provided ORU with the top rebounding margin through three league games (11.3/g). 
• The league's top four scorers in #SummitMBB play will all be in action together on Thursday in Fort Wayne. Nzekwesi and Obanor will go up against Purdue Fort Wayne's John Konchar (26.7 ppg) and Kason Harrell (20.0 ppg). The latter two are part of the league's highest-scoring outfit as the Mastodons are averaging 92.7 ppg in three league contests and lead all of Division I in 3-pointers made (194) this season. 
• Konchar was named The Summit League's Male Athlete of the Month for December after leading the Mastodons to a 5-3 record and four-straight wins to close out the month. He averaged 23.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 4.5 apg during the month.
• When Omaha and North Dakota renew acquaintances on Thursday, it will be a matchup of former North Central Conference rivals. They will face off as conference foes for the first time since the Mavs knocked off the upset-minding Fighting Sioux 75-68 in the 2008 NCC Tournament title game. The Mavs have won both Division I non-conference matchups including a 2014 opening-round CIT contest in Omaha.
• After combining for 12 field goals in two games last week, South Dakota State's Mike Daum is now the league's all-time record holder for career field goals made with 861. He shares the national lead with 11 double-doubles and ranks sixth nationally in scoring (24.3 ppg). 

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (TV/Stream; all times local to site)

Thursday, Jan. 10
Denver at South Dakota State* 7 p.m.
Omaha at North Dakota* (MSN2/COX/E+) 7 p.m.
Oral Roberts at Purdue Fort Wayne* 7 p.m.
Western Illinois at NDSU* (MSN2/E3) 7 p.m.
 
Saturday, January 12
Western Illinois at North Dakota* (MSN2/E3) 2 p.m.
Oral Roberts at SDSU* (MSN/E3) 4:15 p.m.
 
Sunday, January 13
Purdue Fort Wayne at South Dakota* (MSN2/E3) 1 p.m.

Recent Results
Wednesday, Jan. 2
South Dakota 71, Denver 70*  
Omaha 90, North Dakota State 77*
 
Thursday, January 3
Oral Roberts 83, North Dakota 72*
Purdue Fort Wayne 104, South Dakota State 88*
 
Saturday, January 5
North Dakota 80, Denver 59*   
Oral Roberts 82, Western Illinois 63*
 
Sunday, January 6
North Dakota State 85, Dickinson State 53
South Dakota State 79, South Dakota 61*
*Summit League contest

TEAM TRACKER
NOTING THE PIONEERS...
• The Pioneers are in the midst of a season-long, five-game losing skid and will try to break out that against South Dakota State at Frost Arena on Thursday.
• Creighton transfer Ronnie Harrell, Jr., continues to lead the team in scoring at 13.5 ppg. He has come off the bench in the last two games (9.0 ppg) after starting the first 16.
• Senior Joe Rosga has a pair of 19-point performances through four Summit League contests and is averaging 12.8 ppg.
• Junior Ade Murkey and Harrell, Jr., are the top scorers for the Pioneers in league action as both are averaging 13.3 ppg.

NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS...
• The Fighting Hawks snapped a four-game skid with a 21-point road win at Denver.
• UND opens a three-game #SummitMBB homestand on Thursday against Omaha.
• Senior Cortez Seales moved past the 1,000-point plateau for his career in UND's loss at Oral Roberts. Seales is the team's top scorer in overall games at 12.6 ppg. 
• Senior Conner Avants is shooting 72.7 percent from the floor in three #SummitMBB games which is tops among league players. He went 15-for-18 from the floor in two games last week. 
• Freshman Aanen Moody is providing 15.0 ppg off the bench in league play so far and is making four 3-pointers per game.

NOTING THE BISON...
• North Dakota State played the league's final non-conference game Sunday and drilled Dickinson State 85-53 on Sunday afternoon.
• Tyson Ward returned to the starting lineup and led the Bison with 15 points while Deng Geu added a double-double off the bench with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
• Ward is playing his best basketball of the season and leads NDSU in scoring at 16.7 ppg in three league games.
• Ward is one of five Bison averaging double figures in league contests so far, including Deng Geu who is third among league reserves, averaging 13.7 ppg.

NOTING THE MAVERICKS...
• The Mavericks will end an 8-day break from action on Thursday at North Dakota. UNO has won both of its Division matchups against the league's newest member.
• All five of the Mavericks' starters are averaging double figures and shooting better than 50 percent from the field through their first three #SummitMBB games.
• Junior J.T. Gibson is leading that charge at 18.0 ppg and is shooting 42.1 percent from 3-point range this season.
• Sophomore Matt Pile is coming off the best game of his career in a 90-77 win over North Dakota State. Pile tallied career-highs in points (19) and rebounds (12) against the Bison.
• Omaha ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage in league play, knocking down 44 percent of its shots and third in field goal percentage (52.3).

NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES...
• After amassing just a 4-11 record in non-conference play, the Golden Eagles are off to a 3-0 start in #SummitMBB play for the second straight season. 
• The inside duo of junior Emmanuel Nzekwesi and redshirt freshman Kevin Obanor has been the catalyst.
• Nzekwesi is the only league player averaging a double-double through three games (24.3 ppg and 10.0 rpg) while Obanor is pouring in 20.3 ppg off the bench.
• Obanor is also averaging 7.3 rpg for an ORU team that holds a league-best 11.3 rebound margin in league play.

NOTING THE MASTODONS...
• The Mastodons put a season-best, five-game winning streak on the line Thursday against Oral Roberts.
• Purdue Fort Wayne currently leads the country in 3-point makes (194), ranks fourth in assists (292), 12th in rebounds (641) and 13th in steals (135). 
• Do-everything guard John Konchar tops The Summit League in scoring (26.7 ppg) during league play and collected his first Summit League Male Athlete of the Month honors for his strong play in December.
• Konchar's backcourt mate Kason Harrell is averaging 20.0 ppg in three #SummitMBB contests and is shooting 60 percent from 3-point range (13-for-24).

NOTING THE COYOTES...
• Stanley Umude continues to emerge as one of the league's top underclassmen as the sophomore led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds in USD's 79-61 loss to South Dakota State.
• Umude is averaging a team-best 18.7 ppg in three #SummitMBB.
• USD continues to be the top scoring defensive unit in the league, yielding only 66.6 ppg.
• The Coyotes played the SDSU game without leading scorer Trey Burch-Manning. The first team All-Summit League preseason pick is averaging 12.5 ppg and is the top 3-point percentage shooter in overall games (51.2; 22-43).
• USD is also getting double-figure scoring from juniros Triston Simpson (12.4 ppg) and Tyler Peterson (11.2 ppg).

NOTING THE JACKRABBITS...
• The Jacks will get their first chance at a #SummitMBB home tilt Thursday when Denver visits Frost Arena. SDSU went 2-1 in league road games to open the campaign.
• Redshirt freshman Alex Arians put together a career day to lead South Dakota State to a 79-61 victory over South Dakota in the state's Showdown Series on Sunday.
• Arians scored a career-high 19 points, equaled his career-high with 10 rebounds and dished out a career-high five assists
• Arians' double-double was the second of Arians' young career.
• Speaking of double-doubles, senior Mike Daum continues to share the national lead in that category with 11.

NOTING THE LEATHERNECKS...
• The Fighting Leathernecks will make the Peace Garden State swing this week with games at North Dakota State (Thursday) and North Dakota (Saturday).
• Sophomore Kobe Webster has continued to be the team's main scoring cog into #SummitMBB play. He's averaging 17.0 ppg and is dishing out 4.3 apg through three contests.
• Overall, Webster is fourth in the league in scoring at 17.9 ppg.
• Senior Brandon Gilbeck is the only other Leatherneck averaging double figures in league play. He's scoring at 10.0 ppg and leads the league in blocked shots (4.0/g).
• Gilbeck had seven blocks in WIU's last outing -- an 82-63 loss at Oral Roberts.

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