MARSHALL — The Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball team (8-4, 4-3 NSIC) returns from its holiday break on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, hosting the University of Sioux Falls (7-6, 3-4 NSIC) inside the R/A Facility with game time set for 2 p.m.
•SMSU, which enters the break having won a pair of road games versus Concordia-St. Paul and Minnesota State on Dec. 17-18, will look to sweep the regular season series from USF after earning a 70-69 victory over the Cougars in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Nov. 23.
•The Jan. 2 game opens a three-game homestand for SMSU and will be the Mustangs’ last NSIC South Division opponent for more than a month. SMSU will play eight straight games versus NSIC North Division foes starting on Jan. 7-8, 2022, hosting Minot State and UMary.
•The game will be broadcast on 105.1 FM KARL with Ryan Rohlik providing play-by-play.
•Live stats, radio and video broadcasts of all games can be found at SMSUmustangs.com.
Mustang tip-off tidbits
•In the latest NCAA statistics (Dec. 21), SMSU ranks 53rd in rebound margin (+5.0), 61st in scoring defense (67.8) and 69th in free throw pct. (74.2). Jake Phipps ranks 29th with 18 blocked shots and 60th in field goal pct. (57.6). A complete listing of the latest NCAA stats can be found on page 15.
•Sophomore Jake Phipps leads the team in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (7.4), ranks second in field goal pct. (57.6) and is third in 3-pointers (14).
•Senior Kenny Byers ranks second on the team in scoring (13.5) and is second in assists (38).
•Redshirt freshman Dunwa Omot and senior Grant Kramer have each connected on a team-high 19 3-pointers.
•Sophomore Cliff McCray has recorded a team-high 47 assists and has a team-leading 23 steals.
•SMSU has held nine of its 12 opponents to 69 or less points, including a season-low 49 in a victory over Winona State on Dec. 10.
•SMSU has outrebounded its opponent in nine of 12 games.
•SMSU is shooting 47 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range, 74 percent from the free throw line and is plus-5.0 in rebound margin.
•SMSU is averaging 71 points per game, while opponents are averaging 68 points per game.
•SMSU allowed just 10 second half points to Winona State on Dec. 10. It was the first time an SMSU opponent was held to 15 points or less in a half since Michigan Tech scored 15 in the second half on Nov. 17, 2017.
•The last time SMSU held an opponent to less than 50 points in a game was on March 2, 2014, when SMSU defeated Wayne State, 68-45.
•The last time an SMSU opponent was held to five or less field goals in a half came on Dec. 11, 2009, when Northern State had just three field goals in the second half.
Series history vs. Sioux Falls
•SMSU and Sioux Falls meet for the 39th time on Sunday with SMSU leading 23-15 in a series that started in 1968-69.
•SMSU has won eight of the 14 games since the 2015-16 season, including earlier this season, 70-69 on Nov. 23 in Sioux Falls, S.D.
•SMSU leads the series 16-3 in games played in Marshall, but USF has won three of the last five inside the R/A Facility. The teams split two games last season in Marshall.
•SMSU head coach Brad Bigler is 11-9 all-time versus Sioux Falls.
Earlier this season vs. Sioux Falls
•Southwest Minnesota State University rallied from a 15-point first half deficit, with Jake Phipps leading the way with 22 points, to earn a 70-69 victory over the University of Sioux Falls on Nov. 23 in Sioux Falls.
•Phipps made 8 of 12 field goals, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
•Kenny Byers added 16 points, tied a career-high with eight assists and grabbed five rebounds, while Dunwa Omot chipped in with 13 points while making three 3-pointers.
•Matt Cartwright led the Cougars with 19 points with four 3-pointers.
Scouting Sioux Falls
•USF enters the game 7-6 overall, 3-4 NSIC, and is coming off an 80-69 road win over Concordia-St. Paul on Dec. 18.
•Matt Cartwright, a transfer from Augustana, missed the Dec. 17-18 games, but is averaging a team-high 22 points with 36 3-pointers this season.
•Sophomore Jack Thompson (12.4) and junior Chase Grinde (10.5) both are scoring in double figures.
•Grinde leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 per game.
•USF is shooting 43 percent from the field, 34 percent from 3-point range, 71 percent from the free throw line and is plus-5.0 in rebound margin.
•USF is averaging 74 points per game, while opponents are averaging 74 points per game.
•Head coach Chris Johnson is in his 14th season at USF with a record of 231-162. He was also head coach at Culver-Stockton for one season (2004-05).
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic