THIS WEEK: Dakota State (18-8 overall record, 4-2 Association of Independent Institutions conference record) concludes their men's basketball regular-season schedule with a pair of road games in North Dakota this week. The Trojans visit Jamestown (N.D.) (12-16, 3-5 A.I.I.) at the Civic Center on Wednesday evening. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Jamestown, N.D. On Saturday afternoon, DSU travels to the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse to play the nationally-ranked Valley City State (N.D.) (20-6, 7-3 A.I.I.). The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. in Valley City, N.D.
TROJANS QUALIFY FOR A.I.I. TOURNAMENT: The Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) has announced the six qualifiers to the A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Tournament, which will be played at the Civic Center in Jamestown, N.D. on Feb. 22-24. The field includes DSU, host-team Jamestown (N.D.), Ashford (Iowa), Northern New Mexico, Rochester (Mich.) and Valley City State (N.D.). Final seeding for the six teams will take place on Sunday after the completion of this weekend's games. Two first-round games are set for Friday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The semifinals take place on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Each semifinals winner will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II Men's basketball National Tournament and a spot in the A.I.I. championship game, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. at 4:30 p.m.
DSU COMPLETES IMPRESSIVE HOME RECORD: Dakota State notched their 10th home victory at DSU Fieldhouse after a 56-40 victory versus Mayville State (N.D.) on Feb. 6. The Trojans completed their home portion of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule with an impressive 10-2 home record, the best winning percentage (83.3 percent) since head coach Gary Garner's arrival to Dakota State. The Trojans' two home losses at DSU Fieldhouse were to No. 7 Northwestern (Iowa) 78-70 on Nov. 7 and 63-54 to No. 24 Valley City State (N.D.) on Jan. 24. DSU had defeated two nationally-ranked teams at home, defeating No. 19 Bellevue (Neb.) 61-59 on Dec. 21 and No. 10 Dordt (Iowa) 83-65 on Jan. 9. Since Garner's arrival at DSU, the Trojans had produced a home record of 37-18 with a winning percentage of .673.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State and Jamestown split their two meetings this season with each team winning on its home court. The Jimmies rallied back from a nine-point deficit (39-30) to defeat DSU in the Dakota Tip-off Classic on Jan. 19 in Jamestown, N.D. JC used a 19-8 scoring tear in the final 8:23 of the game to earn a 62-57 victory over the Trojans. Dakota State defeated the Jimmies in the last meeting at the DSU Fieldhouse on Feb. 2. Trailing by two points at halftime (36-34), DSU outscored Jamestown 40-26 in the second-half to gain a 74-62 victory. Valley City State won the last meeting with the Trojans on Jan. 24 at DSU Fieldhouse. Tied at 48-48 with 3:23 left in the game, the Vikings closed the game with a 15-6 run to earn a 63-54 victory.
HISTORY LESSON: Dakota State's most wins in a single season is 20 and had happened twice during the DSU men's basketball program history. The Trojans had 20 wins in 1990-91 season and 1966-67 season. DSU had 19 wins in 1991-92 season. Dakota State currently have 18 wins this season, which matched last year's wins total. The Trojans recorded 17 wins in a single season three timesâ€”1989-90, 1965-66 and 1963-64 seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: The Trojans split a pair of games last week. Dakota State overcame an eight-point halftime deficit and held Mayville State to their season low total points for a 56-40 victory on Feb. 6 at DSU Fieldhouse. DSU concluded their home schedule with an impressive 10-2 record. Midland ended Trojans' four-game winning streak on Feb. 9 in Fremont, Neb. The Warriors jumped to a 31-20 halftime and held on to the victory by the score of 63-53. Jamestown splits a pair of game at the Civic Center, upsetting the nationally-ranked Valley City State 66-65 in overtime on Feb. 6. JC suffered a 48-45 defeat to former Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) foe South Dakota Mines on Feb. 10. Valley City State split their two games last week, losing at Jamestown and defeated the Hardrockers 61-55 on Feb. 9 in Valley City, N.D.
INDEPENDENT SPEAKING: Dakota State remains third in the latest A.I.I. weekly ranking as of Monday, Feb. 11. Rochester (Mich.) holds the No. 1 spot with a 18-3 overall record. Valley City State is at No. 2 with a 20-6 overall record. Ashford (Iowa) stays at No. 4 spot (17-10 record). Jamestown is at No. 5 with a 12-16 record, followed by Northern New Mexico at No. 6 with a 10-15 record. Wilberforce (Ohio) is seventh (9-17). Mayville State (8-17) and Walla Walla (Wash.) (6-19) are tied for eighth in the rankings. The top six teams had already secured a spot in the A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Conference Postseason Tournament, which be held in Jamestown, N.D. on Feb. 22-24.
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Tyrone Gordon, Jr. averages 13.5 points per game for the Trojans. He shoots 47.1 percent from the field. John Lamb is averaging 12.2 points per game and ranks 16th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (2.8). He leads the team with 46 steals (1.9 steals per gameâ€”50th in the nation). John Lamb averages 3.0 assists per game (74 total assists). Yusuf Vinson records a total of 194 rebounds this season (7.8 rebounds per game). He ranks 30th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (2.8). Vinson is 46th in total rebounds per game and 50th in total rebounds. Terrell Newton records 15 blocked shots this season (0.6 blocks per game).
WATCH & LISTEN IT: Jamestown will be providing a paid live video coverage of DSU-JC game on Wednesday evening. Fans wanting to follow the action can go to the following link: http://www.b2tv.com/partner_members.asp?id=68. Valley City State will have a free live video coverage for Saturday's game. It can be found on http://www.ihigh.com/vcsu/broadcast_259750.html?silverlight=1. All links also will be available on www.dsuathletics.com in the 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
LIVE STATS/PLAY-BY-PLAY: Jamestown and Valley City State will be providing live stats and play-by-play. The live stats link is available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State Trojan men's basketball and athletics all season long on www.dsuathletics.com. The Trojans are also on Twitter, just log onto www.twitter.com/GoDaSUAthletics. The Dakota State University Athletics group page can be found on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/DSUTrojanAthletics.
UP NEXT: Dakota State will prepare for the A.I.I. Division II Men's Basketball Conference Postseason Tournament, hosted by Jamestown (N.D.). The tournament starts on Friday, Feb. 22 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 24. The Trojans will find out on Sunday on who they will play at the tournament.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director