WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 7
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Omaha's Matt Pile posted his third straight double-double to lead the Mavericks to a 92-82 victory over UTRGV last Sunday. The win not only snapped a four-game losing streak for Omaha, but also put The Summit League ahead 4-3 in its challenge series with the WAC. The final tilt in this year's series is set for Tuesday when Oral Roberts visits Chicago State as the final stretch of non-conference play begins for league squads. There are only two non-conference games scheduled for after Christmas as league play commences on Sunday, Dec. 29 with a trio of matchups.
South Dakota's Tyler Hagedorn and Stanley Umude are both averaging a league-best 17.4 ppg and have scored 209 points through the Coyotes first 12 games this season.
SUMMIT LEAGUE MOVES AHEAD IN CHALLENGE SERIES WITH WAC
With a 92-82 victory over UTRGV, Omaha put The Summit League ahead of the Western Athletic Conference 4-3 in the second year of the challenge between the two conferences. The Mavericks were just the second home team in seven tries to win and their double-digit victory was just the second as well in a series that has featured a double-overtime game along with a pair of one-point contests.
The WAC won last year's challenge 6-3, but The Summit League will look to clinch this year's outright as the final game pits Oral Roberts at Chicago State on Dec. 17.
With a 77-54 victory over Niagara last week, Purdue Fort Wayne's Jon Coffman became the second Summit League coach this season to reach the century mark in career victories.
Earlier this season, NDSU went 2-1 at the Islander Invitational and the Bison's second victory in Corpus Christi provided head coach Dave Richman with his 100th career victory at the school. The only other coach with at least 100 wins with his current team is Omaha's Derrin Hansen, who has reeled off 229 career wins at the helm of the Mavericks.
PILING UP THE BOARDS
Omaha's Matt Pile leads The Summit League and ranks second nationally with 141 rebounds so far this season. His 10.4 rpg average is also among the nation's best, ranking 14th entering the week of play. Pile ranks second in the league with five double-doubles.
OMAHA NETS ELUSIVE WIN
It had been nearly two years since a Summit League team had defeated a program from a power conference, but Omaha changed that with an 85-77 victory at Washington State last Thursday. Purdue Fort Wayne was the last league team to accomplish the feat, knocking off Indiana on Dec. 18, 2017. Before the Mavericks win over the Cougars, almost eight years had passed since a Pac-12 team fell victim to a Summit League foe. SDSU got that win in December of 2011 when the Jackrabbits defeated Washington in Seattle.
KONCHAR MAKES NBA DEBUT
Former Purdue Fort Wayne standout John Konchar made his NBA debut for the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 9. Konchar, who was a four-time, All-Summit League first team performer, played seven minutes off the bench, but did not record any statistics. Konchar is on a two-way deal with the Grizzlies and also plays for the Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League.
UPCOMING IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Tuesday, December 17
Oral Roberts at Chicago State (WAC) 7:00 PM
Denver at Northern Colorado (PLUTO) 8:00 PM
Omaha at Eastern Washington (PLUTO) 8:05 PM
Wednesday, December 18
FGCU at SDSU (MSN/E+) 7:00 PM
Thursday, December 19
Holy Family at Western Illinois 7:00 PM
Friday, December 20
South Dakota vs Northern Colorado (MSN/E+) 7:00 PM
NDSU at Marquette (FS1) 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 21
Oral Roberts vs Missouri State 1:00 PM
Wyoming at Denver (ALT1) 2:00 PM
North Dakota at Nebraska (BTN+) 5:00 PM
Sunday, December 22
Purdue Fort Wayne at Iowa State (ISUTV) 12:00 PM
Kansas City at South Dakota (MSN) 3:30 PM
All times local to site
NOTING THE PIONEERS
• The Pioneers dropped back-to-back home games against New Mexico State and Air Force last week after late rallies in both contests fell short.
• Senior Ade Murkey and sophomore Jase Townsend had back-to-back season-high performances in those two contests. Murkey scored 22 against the Aggies, then added 26 in the loss to the Falcons while Townsend went for a career-high 29 against NMSU and added 23 against Air Force.
• Murkey has moved into the top 10 among league players in scoring at 15.7 ppg (8th) and in his last six games is averaging 19.2 ppg.
• Murkey and the Pios make the short trip to Greeley on Tuesday to take on Northern Colorado. The Minneapolis native had a career-high 31 points against the Bears last season.
NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS
• The Fighting Hawks had the week off after dropping back-to-back road games vs. Big Sky foes on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8.
• UND was in both contests well into the second half, but Montana (77-70) and Eastern Washington (98-82) both pulled away late.
• Sophomore Filip Rebraca leads the team in scoring at 14.9 ppg and has reached double figures in all 11 games. He leads The Summit League and ranks ninth nationally with six double-doubles on the season.
• Rebraca also leads the league in field goal percentage (62.5) and blocks (20).
• After being held in single digits in back-to-back games, senior Marlon Stewart has reached double figures in four straight and is averaging 18.3 ppg during that stretch with a pair of 20-point plus games.
NOTING THE BISON
• The Bison have won three straight and four of their past five to move to 8-4 on the season.
• Senior Vinnie Shahid is averaging 27.0 ppg over his last two contests, including a 30-point outing at CSU Northridge that marked a new career-high. He went 6-for-10 from 3-point land against CSUN, equaling his career-high for makes.
• The win over the Matadors was NDSU's league-best third on the road this season.
• Shahid added a game-high 24 points in a 79-65 victory over Montana State on Monday night.
• Classmate Tyson Ward added his first double-double of the season with 19 points and a season-high 14 rebounds in the win over the Bobcats.
• NDSU wraps up non-conference play at Marquette on Friday night, then opens league play with three straight on the road after Christmas.
NOTING THE MAVERICKS
• The Mavericks provided a 4-3 edge in The Summit League/WAC Challenge thanks to a 92-82 victory over UTRGV that also snapped a four-game losing streak.
• Junior Matt Pile logged team-highs in points (19) and rebounds (14) to post his fifth double-double of the season in the win over the Valeros.
• Pile also dished out a season-high six assists in a victory that was the 11th-straight on Omaha's home floor dating back to last season (6-0 in 2019-20).
• Senior J.T. Gibson, who sat out the game at No. 14 Arizona, came off the bench for the first time this season to score 17 points, including a 7-for-7 effort from the foul stripe.
NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
• The Golden Eagles have a chance to secure The Summit League/WAC Challenge title for the league Tuesday night at Chicago State.
• ORU is coming off back-to-back victories and looking for its first three-game winning streak of the season.
• Grad transfer Deondre Burns reached the 20-point plateau in the win over Central Oklahoma for the first time since doing so in the first two games of the season.
• Burns finished with a season-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor, including a season-best 3-for-4 effort from beyond the arc.
• Elijah Lufile has started the last five games and is averaging (10.2 ppg/9.0 rpg) during that stretch. Lufile had a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double in a win over Haskell on Dec. 8.
• ORU continues to dominate the glass, leading the league in total rebounds (43.7/g) and offensive rebounds (15.1/g).
NOTING THE MASTODONS
• After a 2-5 start to the season, the Mastodonsflipped those numbers around in their last seven games to move to 7-7 on the season.
• JUCO-transfer DeMierre Black posted the first two double-figure scoring games of his Purdue Fort Wayne career last week. He had 12 in the win over Judson College, then went for a season-high 17 in the 74-65 loss at IUPUI.
• Black averaged 22.0 ppg en route to earning NJCAA Second Team All-America honors last season.
• The Mastodons have made a league-high 127 3-pointers and have hit double-digits triples in six of their 14 games this season.
• Sophomore guard Jarred Godfrey continues to lead the team in scoring at 15.8 ppg and is making nearly 2.0 3-pointers per contest.
NOTING THE COYOTES
• The Coyotes have reeled off three straight wins after dropping back-to-back games for the first time this season.
• Junior Stanley Umude and senior Tyler Hagedorn have both scored 209 points through 12 starts and share the league lead in scoring at 17.4 ppg.
• Umude has back-to-back 21-point games in wins over Alabama State and Mayville State and is averaging a double-double in his last five games (19.2 ppg/10.2 rpg).
• South Dakota will play its annual game at The Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls on Friday night against Northern Colorado before wrapping up non-conference play with a Sunday tilt against future Summit League-foe Kansas City.
NOTING THE JACKRABBITS
• The Jackrabbits snapped a three-game skid with a 66-53 victory over Nebraska-Kearney. The win opened a three-game homestand that will see Florida Gulf Coast (Dec. 18) and Idaho (Dec. 21) both visit before the Christmas break.
• SDSU is 6-0 on its homecourt this season and have won 14 straight at Frost Arena dating back to last season. Over the last seven seasons, the Jacks are 109-6 on their home floor.
• In the win over Kearney, Douglas Wilson and Alex Arians shared team-high honors with 16 points. For Wilson, it marked the 10th time in 13 games he held or shared the team lead in scoring.
• For Arians, it marked back-to-back games with double figures after getting there just once in his first 11 starts of the season. His 16 points were a season-high on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor.
NOTING THE LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks showed some rust following a 12-day stretch without a game, falling to in-state rival Eastern Illinois 85-47 Monday.
• Western Illinois had been one of the top teams in the county in terms of committing the fewest turnovers, but the Leathernecks had a season-high 19 against the Panthers.
• Sophomore Ben Pyle led the team in scoring with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point land, but he was the only Leatherneck to reach double figures in the contest.
• WIU has one more tune-up in non-conference play Thursday against Holy Family College before commencing league play at home against South Dakota on Sunday, Dec. 29.
• Pyle leads a trio of Leathernecks that rank among the top five in the league in free throw percentage. Pyle has not missed in 22 attempts so far this season while Zion Young (31-34; 91.2) and C.J. Duff (16-18; 88.9) are fourth and fifth, respectively.
• Junior Kobe Webster, a preseason all-league pick, continues to pace the team in scoring at 15.4 ppg.