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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Summit League power rankings 1-20-09

1. North Dakota State (12-5, 7-1) — The Bison trailed by as many as 12 in the second half at UMKC before rallying to win in overtime. The most impressive part of NDSU’s win was it held the Kangaroos scoreless in overtime and to just four points in the final three minutes of the second half. The Bison are second in the league in scoring defense in league games, holding opponents to 61.8 points per game. NDSU plays at rival South Dakota State Friday night.
2. Oral Roberts (8-11, 6-1) — The Golden Eagles have won five straight since the restart of league play. Oral Roberts leads the league in scoring margin during league play winning by an average of 10.4 points. Oral Roberts won road games at IUPUI and Western Illinois each by double digits. Oakland is the only team to score over 60 points against the Golden Eagles during their winning streak and Oakland did so in overtime. Senior Marcus Lewis joined the 1,000-point club last week.
3. Oakland (11-9, 4-3) — Senior Erik Kangas put on a display in the Golden Grizzlies win at IPFW, scoring 39 points and making the most difficult shots look easy. Oakland leads the league in scoring offense in league play, averaging 75.9 points, but is last in scoring defense giving up an average of 79 points. The Grizzlies need to protect their homecourt in league games against IUPUI and Western Illinois this week if they hope to stay in the league race.
4. Southern Utah (6-12, 4-3) — Thunderbirds head coach Roger Reid continues to get the most of his players and his squad is one of four teams with a winning league record. Southern Utah really struggled offensively against NDSU, scoring just 53 points in a 23-points loss, but turned things around against SDSU. Davis Baker (20.3 points per game) is one of three players averaging over 20 a game in league play.
5. Centenary (5-14, 3-4) — No that’s not a misprint, the Gents are one of the hot teams in the Summit League right now and have won three of their last four. Centenary swept its first road trip since entering the Summit League last week thanks to freshman Maxx Nakwaasah’s put-back with one second left that lifted Centenary over IUPUI. The play made SportCenter’s Top 10 list, which also showed Ron Hunter shoeless. The Gents host three straight league games starting with Southern Utah and UMKC this week.
6. Western Illinois (6-12, 3-4) — The Leathernecks have lost four straight after starting off league player 3-0. Things won’t get any better for WIU if David DuBois, who missed Saturday’s loss to Oral Roberts, misses an extended period of time. The Leathernecks, who are 1-7 on the road this season, have two road games this week and a pair of losses could put them at the bottom of the league standings. Wonder how many 'experts' are projecting them to make the NCAA tournament now?
7. South Dakota State (8-12, 3-5) — The Jackrabbits came close twice, but still have not won a road Summit League game. Kai Williams had a chance to force overtime at UMKC, but missed a point-blank layup. The Jacks then appeared to have a 'W' in the books at Southern Utah when Garrett Callahan hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left to give his team a 3-point lead, but Southern Utah’s Jake Nielson hit a 30-footer at the buzzer to force overtime. SDSU scored just five points in overtime to fall to the Thunderbirds.
8. IUPUI (9-9, 2-5) — The Jaguars are reeling after losing their fourth straight game. After scoring in double figures in the first 14 games of his career freshman Alex Young has failed to do so in three of his last four. Young scored just two points in 11 minutes against Oral Roberts and had five points off the bench against Centenary. Junior college transfer Robert Glenn has been IUPUI’s most consistent player as of late and is averaging 16.3 points a game in league play.
9. IPFW (7-11, 2-5) — The Mastodons shot 58.2 percent from the field, including 62.5 in the second half and a sizzling 53.8 percent from 3-point range (14-for-26) against Oakland, but still lost because they allowed Oakland to shoot 58.9 percent (66.7 in the second half) and 52.2 percent from 3-point range. Head coach Dane Fife said he challenged his team in the locker room after the loss to Oakland so it will be interesting to see how they respond. The Mastodons host two league games this week.
10. UMKC (6-14, 2-5) — The Kangaroos find themselves in a three-way tie for last place in the league, but just two games out of third-place. UMKC is 2-8 in its last 10 and narrowly defeated South Dakota State. The Kangaroos had every chance to hand NDSU its second league loss, but fell apart down the stretch and couldn’t even score in overtime. Things don’t get any easier as UMKC heads to Oral Roberts, which has lost a home league game since 2005 and then to red-hot Centenary.

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Blogger Detroit Sports Guru said...

Your dead on Dave on your Power rankings, keep up the great work!

January 20, 2009 at 6:02 PM 
Blogger Gary said...

Thank you for not ranking IUPUI last this week, you know what that would've meant:)

January 21, 2009 at 1:29 PM 

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