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

Monday, February 9, 2009

Summit League power rankings 2-9-09

1. North Dakota State (18-5, 12-1 Summit) — It was a great week for the Bison, who have now won 10 straight. NDSU won two road games handily and its main competition for the league title, Oral Roberts, lost two games. The Bison won their two road games in two different ways. NDSU won a defensive struggle at Western Illinois, where the team shot just 38.8 percent and leading scorer Ben Woodside went 0-for-12 from the field and scored just seven points. NDSU followed that up by scoring 91 points at IUPUI, shooting 55.7 percent from the field and hitting 54.2 percent (13-for-24) of its 3-poitners. The Bison control their own destiny and have three of their five remaining league games at home.
2. Oral Roberts (11-13, 9-3) — The Golden Eagles may have let their chances at a fifth straight regular-season league title slip away last week. Oral Roberts had its nine-game win streak snapped by Oakland and then fell at IPFW. The Golden Eagles shot just 6-for-36 from 3-point range in the two losses, including 4-for-20 by Robert Jarvis. Oral Roberts shot just 33.3 percent from the field at IPFW and had just five assists. The Golden Eagles will try to rebound with two home games this week when they host Western Illinois and IUPUI.
3. Oakland (15-11, 8-5) — The Golden Grizzlies improved to 8-0 at home this season with double-digit victories over Oral Roberts and Centenary. Junior point guard Johnathon Jones had two double-doubles, averaging 15.5 points and 12.5 assists last week to earn Player of the Week honors. Jones now leads the nation in total assists with 183 and is fourth in the nation in assists per game (7.0). Sophomore center Keith Benson averaged 22.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks and senior guard Erik Kangas averaged 20 points a game last week. Kangas is now second in the nation in 3-pointers made (98) and fourth in 3-pointers per game (3.9).
4. IUPUI (13-11, 6-7) — The Jaguars, who allow a league best 62.8 points per game, gave up 91 points to NDSU and had their four-game win streak snapped. Junior Jon Avery is averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds in his last six games as a starter. Freshman Alex Young looks like he has hit the wall. He has failed to score in double figures in his last five games, averaging 4.6 points per game and has had his season average dip to 11.2 per game. The Jaguars have two road games this week and have by no means locked up a spot in the conference tournament.
5. Southern Utah (8-15, 6-6) — The Thunderbirds completed a sweep of UMKC and pulled to .500 in the league, good for fourth place. SUU had six players score in double figures led by 18 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and two steals from John Clifford. The Thunderbirds shot 91.2 percent from the free-throw line (31-for-34), 52.3 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range. SUU now heads to the Dakotas this week.
6. Centenary (7-17, 5-7) — The Gents lost a pair of road games to fall from fourth place to sixth place and are just a half game ahead of IPFW, SDSU and Western Illinois. Centenary averaged 62 points a game and shot just 32.7 percent (37-for-113) from the field in its two losses last week. The trio of Nick Stallings, Chase Adams and Gary Redus combined to score 87 points in the two losses, while the rest of the team combined to score 37 points.
7. IPFW (10-14, 5-8) — The Mastodons quickly showed any doubters that they aren’t going to lay down and die. IPFW won two home games last week, topping second-place Oral Roberts and then fourth-place Centenary. Junior Deilvez Yearby had a career day against the Golden Eagles, scoring a career-high 23 points, blocking a school-record seven shots and grabbing 10 rebounds. Sophomore Zach Plackmeier also scored a career-high, finishing with 22 points on 6-for-8 shooting. IPFW now has three-straight on the road starting with Oakland on Saturday and then its final two at home.
8. South Dakota State (10-15, 5-8) — The Jacks just keep finding ways to lose league games on the road, falling by eight at IUPUI and then losing on a half-court shot at the buzzer by Josh Rivers at Western Illinois. SDSU led the Leathernecks 59-52 with 3:02 left, but didn’t score the rest of the way. Clint Sargent went in for the last shot with the game tied, but had his shot blocked by David DuBois and the ball bounced to Rivers who sunk the half-courter. This is a huge week for the Jacks, who host their final two home games of the season against Southern Utah and UMKC. SDSU plays at North Dakota State, Oral Roberts and Centenary in its final three conference games.
9. Western Illinois (8-16, 5-8) — The Leathernecks barely escaped with a win against SDSU and the victory could prove to be the one that gets them in the conference tournament should they make it. WIU still has a lot of work to do and it starts with two road games this week, at Oral Roberts and at Centenary. The Leathernecks will need Josh Rivers, who found his shot against SDSU, finishing with 15 points. Senior David DuBois averaged 20.5 points and eight rebounds last week.
10. UMKC (6-19, 2-10) — Stick a fork in the Kangaroos, who are three games behind everyone else with five games left. UMKC fell by 12 points at Southern Utah and have now lost six straight and 11 of its last 12. Senior Dane Brumagin, who is battling a sore Achilles’ tendon, played just five minutes in the loss. A good sign for UMKC’s future is sophomore Bakari Lewis scored 23 points and freshman Latreze Mushat added 16 points and five rebounds in the loss.

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