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

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Summit League power ranking 2-17-09

1. North Dakota State (20-6, 14-2 Summit) — The Bison had their 11-game win streak snapped by Southern Utah, which was also their first home loss of the season. NDSU allowed the Thunderbirds to shoot 54.9 percent and had just five bench points. The Bison followed that up with a convincing win over SDSU, with Ben Woodside netting 32 points. NDSU will play at Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday as part of the ESPN Bracketbusters. It appears the league race could come down to NDSU’s game at Oral Roberts on the final day of the regular season.
2. Oral Roberts (13-13, 11-3) — The Golden Eagles swept Western Illinois and IUPUI last week. The win over the Leathernecks wasn’t pretty, but Oral Roberts had four players in double figures against IUPUI. The Golden Eagles also hit eight 3-pointers, which was just the second time they have hit eight or more since Dec. 17. If Oral Roberts can sweep its two-game road trip this week, it could set up a showdown for the regular-season title with NDSU, but a loss could open the door to Oakland for second place.
3. Oakland (16-11, 9-5) — The Golden Grizzlies completed a season-sweep of IPFW and shot 62.3 percent in the win. Four players scored in double figures led by Keith Benson’s 23. Johnathon Jones had a school record 15 assists against the Mastodons. OU hits the road this week looking to gain some confidence on the road. The Grizzlies are just 2-5 on the road in conference play. Oakland needs help, but still has a shot at the second seed in the conference tournament.
4. Southern Utah (9-16, 7-7) — The Thunderbirds blew a second-half lead at SDSU, but followed that up by shocking NDSU. Davis Baker averaged 24.5 points last week to earn Player of the Week honors. Baker hit a jumper with 37 seconds left to give the Thunderbirds the lead for good against NDSU. Southern Utah leads the nation in free-throw percentage, shooting 80.4 percent and shot 12-for-12 against NDSU. The Thunderbirds sit in fourth place and have a shot at third beginning this week when they hosts Oral Roberts and Centenary.
5. IUPUI (14-12, 7-8) — The Jaguars split a pair of road games last week and can now clinch a spot in the conference tournament with a win over IPFW Thursday. Junior Robert Glenn averaged 21.5 points a game last week and is making a strong case to be an all-conference selection and Newcomer of the Year. Freshman Alex Young averaged 15.5 points after getting re-inserted into the starting lineup last week.
6. South Dakota State (12-16, 7-9) — The Jacks road winless streak in Summit League play reached 16 with the loss at North Dakota State Tuesday night. SDSU plays at Cal Poly Saturday before concluding the regular season with road games at Oral Roberts and Centenary. The Jacks will likely have to win at least one of those road games to get in the conference tournament, but could back in with a pair of losses. Sophomore Dale Moss has started the last two games and averaged 21 points a game.
7. Western Illinois (9-17, 6-9) — The Leathernecks win at Centenary could prove to be what gets them in the conference tournament. WIU now has three home games left and could get in with one win, but may need two because of the tiebreaker situation. David DuBois scored 19 points in the win over Centenary after missing the Oral Roberts game due to injury. The Leathernecks nearly upset the Golden Eagles without DuBois before falling by three.
8. IPFW (10-15, 5-9) — The Mastodons loss to Oakland hurts, but they still control their own destiny. IPFW holds the tiebreaker over Centenary after sweeping the Gents this season and can complete a sweep of Western Illinois with a win Saturday. The win over Oral Roberts is also huge for tiebreakers purposes. David Carson scored 18 points in his final visit to Oakland, but shot 6-for-16 from the field.
9. Centenary (7-19, 5-9) — It was just three weeks ago that the Gents were the surprise team in the league, winners of four of their last five and 5-4 in the league. Centenary has since dropped five straight, including three at home, and are fighting to make the conference tournament. The trio of Nick Stallings, Gary Redus and Chase Adams continue to shoulder the load offensively with very little help from anyone else.
10. UMKC (6-21, 2-12) — The Roos have now lost eight in a row and 13 of their last 14. UMKC is now playing for pride and next season when it hosts Centenary and Oral Roberts this week. Hopefully senior guard Dane Brumagin, who did not make the Roos’ trip to the Dakotas last week because of a sore Achilles’, is healthy to play in the final home game of his career.

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Blogger The D Man said...

Well done.

SUU's road win at NDSU was their biggest league win in years. The D Man will be at both SUU home games this week--perhaps they can keep the magic going with a win over Oral Roberts on Thursday.

February 18, 2009 at 9:16 AM 

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