BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The SDSU men have won five straight games against their in-state rival USD. With playoff standings on the line, Saturday’s match up is going to be key for both the Jacks and Coyotes.
USD knocked off NDSU last Thursday, before suffering a loss to North Dakota. That was followed by a six day break, which was a welcoming sight to the Yotes, who played five games in ten days.
“Our guys needed some time off. The way the impact has been on our bodies, it hasn’t been great. You could see it against UND,” Eric Peterson said. “So obviously, there was some fatigue, and those guys needed a break.”
SDSU has now won three straight games, including a weekend sweep at Frost Arena over UND and NDSU.
“We’re spacing the floor out a little bit better than we were previously and we’re playing a little more up-tempo as well,” Eric Henderson said.
USD finds themselves in seventh place in the Summit League standings. If they’re unable to climb in the standings, they’ll be forced to play an extra game on Friday of the conference tournament.
“We don’t have a ton of depth, we don’t play a lot of guys. So not playing that very first day, I think would really, really help our team,” Peterson said.
The Jackrabbits have been led by Zeke Mayo, who was recently named the Mid-Major Player of the Week, following a total of 89 points in three games.
“For him to be able to play the way he is and obviously he’s scoring the basketball at a high level, but he’s doing it selflessly and that’s the most important part of it,” Henderson said.
While the Coyotes have struggled at times this season, coach Henderson knows that USD will give SDSU their best shot on Saturday.
“They’ve been up and down a little bit, but we know which one we’re going to get. We know they’re going to be fired up to come into our place and play a good quality basketball game,” Henderson said.
SDSU and USD will meet on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Brookings. You can see highlights from both games on KELO-TV Saturday night.