THIS WEEK: Dakota State (15-9 overall record) looks to extend their season-high winning streak with a pair of games versus Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) opponents this week. The Trojans travel to RVSC-Allee Gym to visit Morningside (14-12, 9-8 GPAC) on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. in Sioux City, Iowa. On Saturday night, DSU returns home to play their final regular-season home contest versus Midland (15-10, 10-7 GPAC). Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at the DSU Fieldhouse.
EVENTS: Seniors and parents night will be held on Saturday. DSU will be recognizing their six seniors (Spencer Adams, Keith Biggers, Jesse Bean, Stephen Klekas, Donald Stewart and Chason Woods after the completion of the women's game and prior to the men's warm-ups. Coaches versus Cancer will also be held on Saturday night to raise cancer awareness. Madison Chamber of Commerce will be held on Saturday night to recognize all Madison's businesses.
LAST MEETING: Dakota State trailed by seven points early in the second-half, but rallied back down the stretch to defeat Morningside 78-72 in both teams' last meeting on Nov. 11 as part of Ed Harter Classic in Madison, S.D. The Mustangs held a 38-34 halftime advantage and extended their lead to 43-36 with 18:55 remaining. DSU sealed the game by extending the game's largest lead at 78-69 with 12 seconds left. The Trojans outscored Morningside 44-34 in the game's final twenty minutes. DSU held on to an 83-81 victory with Midland in both teams' first-ever meeting in Fremont, Neb. on Jan. 7. The Trojans shot 69.6 percent and outscored the Warriors 50-42 in the second-half for the win. Midland jumped to a 39-33 halftime lead before the Trojans mounted a second-half surge.
LAST TIME OUT: DSU completed their five-game home stand undefeated with a pair of victories last week against two South Dakota teams. The Trojans defeated Mount Marty 67-49 on Jan. 31 and University of Sioux Falls 66-56 on Feb. 4. Morningside split a pair of road games in GPAC play, defeating Dakota Wesleyan 81-59 on Feb. 1 and losing 66-63 to Nebraska Wesleyan on Feb. 4. Midland went 2-0 last week with a pair of home victories, defeating Hastings 86-77 on Feb. 1 and Dakota Wesleyan 71-50 on Feb. 4.
HOME COOKING: During DSU's undefeated five-game home stand, the Trojans defeated three NCAA Division II teams from the state of South Dakota (Black Hills State, South Dakota Mines and University of Sioux Falls). The Trojans outscored its opponents 381-299 and DSU's average margin of victory was plus-16.4 points per game. Dakota State is currently 8-5 at home this season.
NAIA NATIONAL RANKINGS: Dakota State returns back to the NAIA Division II Men's Basketball national poll on Monday afternoon, receiving 12 points in the eighth edition of the national poll. It was the first time since Jan. 9 that the Trojans appeared in the national poll. Midland received 17 points, while Morningside recorded a vote in the latest edition of the national poll.
HISTORY LESSONS: The Trojans recorded its double-digit wins for their third straight seasons (13 wins this season, 15 in 2010-11 and 11 in 2009-10) for the first time since the late 1980's and early 1990's. Dakota State recorded six straight seasons of double-digits wins, starting in 1988-89 (10 wins). The Trojans had 17 wins in 1989-90, 20 in 1990-91, 19 in 1991-92, 14 in 1992-93 and 1993-94. After the victory versus University of Sioux Falls on Feb. 4, DSU had their first back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than 20 years.
DSU RANKS NATIONALLY: According to the DakStats-NAIA statistical website as of Monday, Feb. 6, Dakota State ranks 26th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (42.4 percent), 27th in scoring defense per game (67.7 points per game and 36th in total rebound margin (+3.2). The Trojans are 39th in the nation in total rebounds per game (37.2) and 41st in field goal percentage (45.7 percent). DSU is 42nd in scoring margin (+5.2) and offensive rebounds per game (12.0).
QUICK LEADERS: Jesse Bean leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.7 points per game. He shoots 45.9 percent from the field. Bean averages 2.5 assists (58 total). Keith Biggers records 123 rebounds (5.9 average) for the Trojans. He ranks 37th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (2.8). Donald Stewart leads the team in steals with 28 (1.2 average). Spencer Adams records 14 blocked shots this season (0.6 average). Keith Lee ranks 37th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio of 1.9.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Dakota State men's basketball and athletics all season long at www.twitter.com/DaSUAthletics.
LIVE STATS: Morningside will have a live stats Tuesday night and follow on http://www.qkstats.net/live/xlive.htm. Live stats and play-by-play will be available in all Dakota State's home games. The live stats are available on game day on www.dsuathletics.com under 'Live Games' tab above the 'Upcoming Events'.
WATCH IT: Fans can watch live video and audio of DSU-Morningside on Tuesday night. The links will be available on www.dsuathletics.com, under 'Live Games' tab. Fans can watch Midland-DSU free of charge on Saturday night. Jim Hockett, Voice of the Trojans, will handle the play-by-play. Fans wanting to follow the action can go to the following link: www.streaming.dsu.edu/Athletics-Live.
UP NEXT: Dakota State concludes their regular-season schedule next weekend as they travel to western South Dakota. The Trojans face a pair of opponents from the former DAC schools. DSU visits Black Hills State at the Donald E. Young Gymnasium in Spearfish, S.D. on Feb. 17 with a tip-off starting at 8:30 p.m. (CT)/7:30 p.m. (MT). On Saturday, Feb. 18, the Trojans travel to the King Center in Rapid City, S.D. to play South Dakota Mines. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m .(CT)/6 p.m. (MT).
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director