Jacks head to Omaha, Fargo for final road trip



Victoria Berndt, Sports Reporter

South Dakota State men’s basketball team will travel to face the No. 2 and No. 4 seeds in the Summit League this week.

Jacks head to Omaha Neb. on Thursday, Feb. 14 starting at 7 p.m., then the team will be off to Fargo, North Dakota 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16

“Two tougher road games in the league,” said Coach TJ Otzelberger.

Omaha (UNO)

In the first game for the week, the Jacks face the Mavericks for the second time this season. The Jacks downed the Mavericks 83-73.

Since losing to the Jackrabbits, Omaha (14-9, 7-2) has bounced back with two wins.

“Omaha is playing extremely well, they are a very well-coached team,” Otzelberger said. “They are sharing the basketball and they have a clear sense of identity and their group fits together very well.”

Last time the Jacks met the Mavericks KJ Robinson, a junior guard scored 23 points on four 3-pointers.

“They never turn the ball over, which also makes the really effective offensively also, helps them so they aren’t in the disadvantage in transition defensive side of things,” Otzelberger said.

Omaha turns the ball over at a 13.2 average per game, seventh worst in the Summit League.

“We are going to have to play at a high level,” Otzelberger said. “We are going need to try to dominate the paint, get the ball moving and get the shots that we want because they are going to be focused. It is going to be a great atmosphere; great crowd and we are going to have to rise to the occasion.”

The Mavericks have won three straight home games, and are currently 7-2 inside Baxter Arena.

“The focus is on this game,” said Otzelberger.

North Dakota State (NDSU)

Coming off a road game the Jacks will take on the Bison for the second time this season, who they have already downed 87-69.

“They have certainly improved, they are coming together as a group which is at a good time for them.”

The Bison are on a roll currently, having won four in a row and five of their last six games. They are 9-1 inside Scheels Arena.

Junior guard, Vinnie Shahid is shooting 21.5 points per game in his last four games.

“We know that NDSU is playing really well and at a high level. We are going to have to be at our best.”