THIS WEEK: The Dakota State University men's basketball team (5-1 overall record) looks to continue their best start in many years as they continue their action on the road with a pair of games this week. The Trojans travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on AIB (0-8) Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the AIB Activities Center. On Saturday, Dec. 1, Dakota State heads to New Ulm, Minn. to take on Martin Luther (0-2). The game will be held at the Luther Student Center with a tip-off starting at 4 p.m.
DSU'S CURRENT WINNING STREAK TO CONTINUE HOT START: Dakota State is currently on a four-game regular-season winning streak to continue their best start in many years. The Trojans' only defeat this season was to Northwestern (Iowa) - No. 7 in the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Poll - on Nov. 7 by the score of 78-70 at DSU Fieldhouse. The four-game winning streak began with a 68-64 home victory over in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan on Nov. 10 in Madison, S.D.
LAST MEETING: The Trojans own an all-time series record of 2-0 with AIB (Iowa). The series began on Nov. 30, 2011 with the first meeting in Des Moines, Iowa where DSU prevailed by the score of 75-54. Dakota State swept the season series with the Eagles with a 71-47 victory on Dec. 30, 2011 at DSU Fieldhouse in Madison, S.D. DSU men's basketball head coach Gary Garner will be making his first trip to Martin Luther (Minn.) on Saturday. The Trojans previously set a scoring record of 123 points when the Trojans defeated the Knights 123-85 during the 1991-92 season (DSU broke the team school record for most points in a single game with 130 points versus Oglala Lakota (S.D.) on Nov. 1 at DSU Fieldhouse).
BALANCE OFFENSE ATTACK: Through six regular-season games this season, Dakota State have five players averaging in double digits. The DSU players that averages in double digits are Luke Lamb (17.2 points per game), Terrell Newtown (15.5 points), Yusuf Vinson (14.5 points), John Lamb (12.8 points) and Marcus Smith (12.7 points). Dakota State ranks seventh in the nation in assists per game (20.0) and free-throw percentage (75.7 percent). The Trojans are ninth in scoring margin (+20.3) and 18th in scoring offense per game (83.5 points). Newton is ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (63.8). Smith shoots 88.9 percent from the free-throw line, which is 16th in the nation. John Lamb averages 3.2 3-point field goals per game, ranking him 21st in the nation. Luke Lamb shoots 50 percent from the 3-point line, which ranks him 24th in the nation.
TROJANS' DEFENSE STEPS UP: Dakota State had allowed their opponents to a 38.3 percent shooting from the field goal, which is the 11th best in the nation. The Trojans rank 14th in the nation in defensive rebounds per game (29.7) and 18th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.6 percent). DSU allowed an average of 63.2 points per game through six regular-season games this season (22nd best in the nation). Yusuf Vinson ranks 24th in the nation in defensive rebounds per game with an average of 6.0.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State extended their winning streak to four games as they recorded a 77-58 victory over Presentation (S.D.) on Nov. 20 at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans never trailed in the game with the Saints as DSU jumped to a 33-28 halftime lead. Dakota State outscored PC 44-30 in the game's final twenty minutes. Four Trojan players recorded in double digits led by Luke Lamb with 20 points. Marcus Smith added 15 points. Yusuf Vinson had 13 points, while Terrell Newton scored 12 points off the bench. Luke Lamb and Vinson each had nine rebounds. Dakota State dropped two exhibition games against members of NCAA Division II and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) - 66-47 at Augustana (S.D.) on Nov. 19 and 56-42 at University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) on Nov. 24. AIB (Iowa) remained winless in eight games as they dropped a 101-91 home loss to York (Neb.) in Des Moines, Iowa. Martin Luther recorded two losses in the Viterbo Tournament in La Crosse, Wis. The Knights lost to Viterbo (Wis.) 65-53 on Nov. 16 and 92-79 to Waldorf (Iowa) on Nov. 17.
DSU QUICK LEADERS: Luke Lamb leads Dakota State with an average of 17.2 points per game this season. He shoots 50.7 percent from the field. He averages 1.7 steals per game for the Trojans. Yusuf Vinson averages 9.0 rebounds per game (54 total) and ranks 19th in the nation in total rebounds. John Lamb records 28 assists (4.7 assists per game). Terrell Newton accumulates four blocked shots. Kevin Danielsen ranks 36th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio of 3.0. Keith Lee is 46th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio of 2.8 and averages 4.2 assists per game.
WATCH IT: AIB (Iowa) will be carrying a live video coverage of Tuesday men's basketball game with the Trojans. Fans are encouraged to go to http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/aib.portal#. The links also will be available on www.dsuathletics.com in the 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events.'
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State 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 continues their road stretch with another pair of games next week. The Trojans play their fourth and final exhibition game of the season on Thursday, Dec. 6. Dakota State will battle with NCAA Division I South Dakota State, who qualified for the NCAA Division I National Tournament and captured the Summit League Postseason Tournament last season. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D. On Saturday, Dec. 8, Dakota State heads to Orange City, Iowa for a rematch with nationally-ranked Northwestern (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The game is set for 4 p.m. at the Bultman Center (NWIA won the first meeting with DSU 78-70 at DSU Fieldhouse on Nov. 7).
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director