BROOKINGS – South Dakota State continues a season-opening homestand Thursday when Alabama State comes to town.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from Frost Arena between two programs meeting for the second consecutive year in Brookings.
The Jacks are the three-time defending Summit League tournament champions, and last year earned the program’s first-ever outright Summit regular season title, going 13-1 in league play. State carries the nation’s longest active home-winning streak (21) after picking up a 79-74 season-opening victory Tuesday evening against Grand Canyon. The Jackrabbits are a combined 27-2 at Frost Arena under third-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger.
Alabama State, tabbed fifth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), dropped a 79-53 contest at Iowa State Tuesday night in Ames, Iowa. ASU went 8-23 a year ago and returns their top three scorers for the 2018-19 campaign.
The two programs have met once prior to tonight’s bout, with South Dakota State taking a 94-63 victory in 2017-18 at home.
About Alabama State
Alabama State is in search of its first win of the season after losing to Iowa State in the opener. The Hornets return eight letterwinners who have all started at least one game in their career.
Reginald Gee (15 points vs Iowa State) is the top returning scorer after putting in 15.5 per game a year ago, while Jacoby Ross and Branden Johnson are back as well to round out the top three offensive returners. Ross averaged 12.5 points per game last year and Johnson dropped 7.7 points and grabbed 6.8 rebounds on average.
Leon Daniels added 11 in his first collegiate start against Iowa Stat e and Johnson finished the night with 11 rebounds for the Hornets.
Alabama State shot 36.4 (20-of-55) percent from the field and 34.6 (9-of-26) percent beyond the arc.
Lewis Jackson is in his 14th season leading the Hornets and holds a 187-220 record at the helm.
The Jacks own an 90-5 record at Frost Arena over the last seven seasons dating back to 2011-12, which includes perfect home records in five of the last seven years and a 1-0 start to the current campaign. That span includes two home winning streaks of 30 or more games.