#SummitMBB Weekly Notebook: No. 15

NDSU has won five-straight games and moved into a tie atop the #SummitMBB standings with SDSU.
NDSU has won five-straight games and moved into a tie atop the #SummitMBB standings with SDSU.

WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: No. 15

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. --
 The top three teams in the #SummitMBB standings have started to separate themselves as that group is nearly three games ahead of Omaha, who sits in fourth with a 5-5 record. The front-running trio includes North Dakota State (9-2), South Dakota State (9-2) and South Dakota (8-3), who have all won at least four straight entering the week. And, those winning streaks may hold as those squads do not face anyone within that group until the following week.

The Mavericks and their .500 league mark hold a slight half-game lead on another pack of teams that all enter the week at 5-6. That trio includes Oral Roberts, Purdue Fort Wayne and North Dakota as the jockeying for seeding at The Summit League Championship hits full throttle. 
 
HIGH-POINT GAMES BY CLASS
Senior: Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota (33 vs. Texas Southern, Nov. 15)
Junior: Douglas Wilson, SDSU (31 at Denver; Jan. 8)
Sophomore: Jase Townsend, Denver (32 vs. Omaha; Jan. 18)
Freshman: Noah Freidel, SDSU (28 vs. Omaha; Dec. 29)

HIGHEST SCORING AVERAGE BY CLASS
Senior: Tyler Hagedorn, South Dakota (19.0/g)
Junior: Douglas Wilson, SDSU (17.9/g)
Sophomore: Jase Townsend, DU (17.9/g)
Freshman: Max Abmas, ORU (14.5/g)

MAKE ROOM FOR ME
So far this season, nine different Summit League players have eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau in their career, joining Oral Roberts' Emmanuel Nzekwesi who achieved the feat as a junior last season. 

Here's a rundown of the current scoring leaders among league players:
Emmanuel Nzekwesi (Sr.), Oral Roberts (1,380)
Tyson Ward (Sr.), North Dakota State (1,353)
Kobe Webster (Jr.), Western Illinois (1,299)
J.T. Gibson (Sr.), Omaha (1,184)
Tyler Hagedorn (Sr.), South Dakota (1,141) 
Triston Simpson (Sr.), South Dakota (1,118)
Tyler Peterson (Sr.), South Dakota (1,117)
Marlon Stewart (Sr.), North Dakota (1,074)
Ade Murkey (Sr.), Denver (1,033)
K.J. Robinson (Sr.), Omaha (1,006)
 
PROTECT OUR HOUSES
South Dakota State owns the third-longest homecourt winning streak in Division I, pushing that streak to 21 straight at Frost Arena thanks to an 86-71 win over Omaha this past Saturday. The Jacks are now 13-0 at home this season and are the only SL team yet to drop a home tilt this season.
 
OMAHA, NORTH DAKOTA NET POWER-5 WINS
It had been nearly two years since a Summit League team had defeated a program from a "Power 5" conference, but Omaha and North Dakota both changed that during non-conference play. The Mavericks picked up the first one with an 85-77 victory at Washington State (Nov. 21). UND followed suit a month later, defeating Nebraska 75-74 (Dec. 21). 
 
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.

AROUND THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Tuesday, February 4
South Dakota 106, Peru State 45
 
Wednesday, February 5
Purdue Fort Wayne 75, Western Illinois 69*
NDSU 86, Omaha 78*
 
Thursday, February 6
North Dakota 74, Oral Roberts 68*
 
Saturday, February 8
NDSU 83, Oral Roberts 76*
South Dakota 82, North Dakota 68*
Purdue Fort Wayne 70, Denver 63*
SDSU 81, Omaha 64*
 
Wednesday, February 12
Western Illinois at South Dakota* (MSN/E+) 7:00 PM
Omaha at Oral Roberts* (E+) 7:00 PM
 
Friday, February 14
Denver at SDSU* 7:00 PM
Purdue Fort Wayne at NDSU* (MSN2/E+) 7:00 PM
 
Saturday, February 15
North Dakota at Western Illinois* (E+) 7:00 PM
South Dakota at Oral Roberts* (E+) 7:00 PM
 
Sunday, February 16
Purdue Fort Wayne at SDSU* (MSN/E+) 2:00 PM
Denver at Omaha* 4:30 PM
All times local to site | *Summit League game

TEAM TRACKER
NOTING THE PIONEERS 
• The Pioneers hit the road this week looking to snap a five-game losing skid. DU has back-to-back games at South Dakota State (Friday) and Omaha (Sunday).
• Sophomore Jase Townsend went for 15 points in a 70-63 loss to Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday in what was DU's only game last week.
• Townsend has now reached double figures in a league-best 18-consecutive games. His 17.9 ppg average is tied for fourth among league players and ranks14th among sophomores in DI basketball.
• The Mastodons held Ade Murkey in single digits as the senior finished with nine points, snapping what had been the longest streak of consecutive double-figure scoring games in the league at 18.

NOTING THE FIGHTING HAWKS
• The Fighting Hawks trek to Western Illinois for their only matchup this week. Those two teams play Saturday in Macomb.
• UND split a pair of home games last week and now sit in a three-way tie for fifth place in the league standings at 5-6.
• Sophomore Filip Rebraca missed his first game of the season in UND's 74-68 win over ORU.
• Senior Marlon Stewart had two more 20-plus point games last week to bring his season total to 12 in that category (shares league lead). He is averaging 21.5 ppg in league play (t-3rd). 
• As of Feb. 11, Stewart was one of two DI players averaging better than 18.0 ppg (18.1), 5.0 rpg (5.4) and 5.0 apg (5.1) this season -- joining Western Carolina's Mason Faulkner (18.1/5.7/6.1) with that distinction.

NOTING THE BISON
• The Bison returned home after sweeping a three-game road swing and held off Oral Roberts 83-76 on Saturday.
• In total, NDSU has won five straight and caught South Dakota State at the top of the standings as both squads entered the week with 9-2 records in league play.
• Senior Vinnie Shahid scored a career-high 31 points against the Golden Eagles marking his second 30-plus point game of the season.
• Shahid hit 10 3-pointers in two games last week and leads the league with 66 makes from beyond the arc.
• The Bison are the top defensive scoring unit in The Summit League in both overall games (65.4) and league (69.4).

NOTING THE MAVERICKS
• The Mavericks will look to halt a three-game losing streak Wednesday at Oral Roberts. Omaha won the first matchup 74-67 on Jan. 4.
• Senior K.J. Robinson joined his backcourt mate J.T. Gibson in the Mavericks' 1,000-point club thanks to a 20-point in the 81-64 loss at South Dakota State. He now has 1,006 points and became the ninth Summit League player to achieve that feat this season.
• For Robinson, it was his sixth 20-plus point scoring game in his last seven contests. He is averaging 20.0 ppg during that stretch.
• Junior Matt Pile recorded his ninth double-double of the season in the loss to the Jacks, moving one behind league-leader Filip Rebraca (UND) in that category. 

NOTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
• The Golden Eagles dropped back-to-back road games in North Dakota, falling by single digits in both tilts.
• Grad transfer Deondre Burns averaged 28.5 ppg in those two setbacks, scoring a career-high 31 points in a 74-68 loss at UND and backing that up with 25 points in the 83-76 loss at NDSU.
• Those efforts moved Burns into the top 10 in the league in scoring at 15.7 ppg as he has reached double figures in nine straight.  
• Senior forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi joined Matt Pile as the only two Summit League players averaging a double-double this season thanks to an eight-point, 13-rebound output at UND.
• Nzekwesi is now averaging 16.4 ppg and 10.1 rpg, but he sat out the NDSU game (his sixth of the season). 
• The Golden Eagles are tied for fifth with UND and Purdue Fort Wayne at 5-6 in league play, but have four of their last five games at the Mabee Center.

NOTING THE MASTODONS
• The Mastodons have won three of four and moved into a tie for fifth place at 5-6 thanks to a home win over Western Illinois (75-69) and a road win at Denver (70-63) last week.
• Freshman Deonte Billups averaged 15.5 ppg in those victories. 
• Billups has reached double figures in six of his last seven games after eclipsing that total in just four of 15 non-conference games (6.0 ppg). He is averaging 12.4 ppg in league play.
• Sophomore Jarred Godfrey continues to lead the team in scoring at 15.7 ppg and had his eighth 20-plus point scoring game in the win over the Leathernecks.
• The Mastodons are staring at a tough two-game road swing this week as they play at laegue co-leaders NDSU (Friday) and SDSU (Sunday).

NOTING THE COYOTES
• The Coyotes have won seven straight games, which is the longest winning streak of the season by a league team. 
• The Coyotes are one of 18 Division I teams averaging 80.0 ppg this season and USD erupted for 106 in a 61-point win over Peru State on Tuesday.
• USD is the only squad that has all five starters averaging in double figures.
• USD's latest league win came at UND on Saturday when the Yotes posted an 82-68 win. 
• Senior Tyler Hagedorn led a quartet of double-figure scorers with 15 points. 
• Hagedorn continues to pace the league in scoring at 19.0 ppg.
• The Coyotes alternate home and away games over their final five games of the regular season starting Wednesday with a home tilt vs. WIU. 

NOTING THE JACKRABBITS
• SDSU moved to 9-2 in league play and earned the season split with Omaha thanks to an 81-64 victory at Frost Arena last Saturday.
• It was the only game of the week for the Jacks, who pushed their homecourt winning streak to 21, which ranks third among DI teams. SDSU has two more home games this week vs. Denver and Purdue Fort Wayne.
• Sophomore Alex Arians scored a career-high 19 points against the Mavericks and is 7-for-11 from 3-point territory over his last two games.
• Arians averaged just 7.3 ppg in 15 non-conference games, but has increased that to 12.0 ppg in league play.
• Matt Dentlinger (62.1/69.0) and Douglas Wilson (60.7/60.0) rank one-two in the league in field goal percentage in both overall and league games, while the Jacks are shooting 53.9 percent as a team in league action.

NOTING THE LEATHERNECKS
• The Leathernecks dropped their only game last week, falling at Purdue Fort Wayne 75-69 on Wednesday. It was the fifth-straight loss for WIU, who will look to snap that skid at South Dakota on Wednesday.
• Redshirt senior James Claar had his best game as a Leatherneck in the loss to the Mastodons. The 6-foot-8 forward scored a career-high 20 points on a perfect shooting night off the bench. Claar went 6-for-6 from the field and buried all eight of his free throw attempts.
• Claar's efforts from the stripe helped WIU remain as one of the top five free-throw shooting teams in the country. The Leathernecks rank fourth nationally, sinking 78.9 percent of their attempts.
• WIU went 18-for-20 against the Mastodons.
• Junior Kobe Webster continues to pace a quartet of Leathernecks averaging in double figures. He is scoring at a 15.7 ppg clip and has reached double figures in all 11 league games.

#SUMMITMBB