Jackrabbit men host Coyotes on Saturday looking for a series sweep
SDSU has not lost a Summit Leage game at home this season.
BROOKINGS — The USD Coyotes have one win in Brookings since 2000.
It came during the pandemic-impacted 2021 campaign, in a largely empty Frost Arena. With a full house on hand, the Coyotes are 0-for-their-last 15 at South Dakota State.
They are aware of that.
"It's been awhile since we've won at SDSU," said Coyotes coach Eric Peterson. "We've got our work cut out for us."
Indeed, the deck is stacked against them.
USD is 2-8 on the road this season, and they already took a fairly sound beating from the Jacks, at home, just a month ago. SDSU won 82-64 in Vermillion on Jan. 14, controlling the action from start to finish. The Jacks are not the juggernaut they were last year, when they won 30 games and went undefeated in conference play, but they've shown glimpses of being somewhat similar.
The Jacks have won three in a row and are in second place in the Summit at 9-4 (14-11 overall). They're 8-1 at home, including 7-0 at home in conference play, and they have the hottest player in the league in guard Zeke Mayo. The sophomore had a career-high 41 points in last Saturday's home win over North Dakota State, and is averaging 18.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He was held to 6-of-19 shooting in Vermillion, but still finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Matt Dentlinger, who is second on the Jacks with 11.2 points per game, had 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting in that one.
"The last time we played them Dentlinger played really well," Peterson said. "We have to do a much better job of rebounding and keeping them out of the paint, and then with the way Mayo's playing, Mason (Archambault) is gonna have his work cut out for him."
Jacks coach Eric Henderson made it sound like his team will be without guard Charlie Easley again (he's been battling an injury for more than a month), and while he likes the way his team has played of late, especially at home, he expects the Coyotes (11-14, 6-7 Summit) to be ready. USD has been inconsistent, and like any inconsistent team, when they're good they're tough to beat.
The 'Yotes are shooting .387 from 3-point land as a team, with an average of almost nine makes per game.
Kruz Perrott-Hunt leads USD with 14.1 points per game, with Tasos Kamateros (12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds) and AJ Plitzuweit (11.2 points) chipping in behind him.
"They're a dangerous team," Henderson said. "They've been up and down but we know which one we're gonna get. They're gonna be fired up to come into our place like they have many times."