NDSU-SDSU winning streak ends, continues in disappointing fashion

Travis Kriens

Travis KriensSports Genius

Another NDSU game, another disappointment.

What seemed to be the right time for the SDSU men’s basketball team to finally get over the North Dakota State hump and defeat their rival for the first time since 2006 just wasn’t in the cards Saturday night in front of the second largest Frost Arena men’s crowd in the Division I era.

The Jacks are now on the verge of graduating a second senior class that has never beaten NDSU as they lost their ninth straight game against a team full of guys that look like they should be playing a pickup game at the Wellness Center on a Saturday afternoon even though they are much more talented then that.

Even though this is mainly a new group of players, only three of the 12 players for SDSU have played more than three games vs. the Bison, it was the same familiar story. When NDSU needed a big defensive stop, they got it. When NDSU needed a basket to respond, they got it.

The Jacks will have a while to think about this one since their next conference game isn’t until Dec. 30 and they don’t meet the Bison against until Feb. 25, the last conference game of the season before the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.

What made matters worse is that the women, winners of 10 straight vs. NDSU, lost the first game of the doubleheader 78-71 marking only the second time in 28 Summit League home games that the Jacks did not leave the floor as winners and only the 15th home loss for head coach Aaron Johnston in 146 games over a 10 year span.

For the second consecutive season, the women have gotten off to a 3-4 start. Their schedule is anything but easy, but maybe we are expecting too much from them. SDSU’s first year being eligible for the NCAA Tournament saw them beat four BCS schools in their first five wins of the season; Missouri, Wisconsin, Oregon and Illinois. Four big name teams that average fans recognize, but not that great of teams when it comes to women’s basketball.

Only one ended up that season with a better than .500 record (Wisconsin), two ended up with 21 losses (Oregon and Illinois), two finished in the bottom three of their conferences (Missouri and Illinois) and none finished better than seventh in conference.

Since that streak, the women have lost five of their last six against BCS schools, including five in a row. (not including the Washington State result on Tuesday) Two of those losses coming against Baylor and Oklahoma who made the Final Four last season.

The Jacks welcome Arizona State to Frost Arena on the Dec. 16 and Iowa on the Dec. 18. ASU reached the second round of the WNIT last season while Iowa has made the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons and could be only the second school to play at Frost when ranked in the top 25 (No. 19 USC in 2006).

For NDSU to sweep they doubleheader, they had to put together a pair of historical performances. The NDSU women shot 54 percent from the field, the best an opponent has shot at Frost Arena in a regular season game since 2000. The NDSU men grabbed 55 rebounds, the most for any SDSU opponent since exactly 28 years ago to the day at Montana State in 1982

The fact is that while each of these were tough losses, they only count as one loss and are only are big or as small as you make them out to be.

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