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South Dakota State returns to Sanford Pentagon to play Northern Arizona

08/24/2020, 1:00pm CDT
By Sanford Media Relations

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Sanford Pentagon will host South Dakota State and Northern Arizona in a regular-season men’s college basketball game on November 30.

Tickets will go on sale later. Television coverage will determine a start time.

Division I games take many months to negotiate and finalize, and this matchup was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Sanford Pentagon will work closely with the schools and individual states and be ready to adjust based on guidelines and safety measures for all involved.

The contest will be South Dakota State’s seventh and Northern Arizona’s first trip to the Pentagon, which has hosted 28 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games since opening in 2013.

“South Dakota State and Northern Arizona is great matchup to start our schedule of Division I games this season at the Sanford Pentagon,” said Steve Young, president of Sanford Sports. “SDSU is no stranger to Heritage Court, and we’re excited to welcome the Lumberjacks to Sioux Falls for the first time.”

A member of the Summit League, South Dakota State is coming off a 22-10 season with a 13-3 record in conference and a share of the regular season title. The Jackrabbits were perfect at Frost Arena, posting a 16-0 home record. SDSU returns almost 90-percent of its scoring from last season, including 2019-20 Summit League Player of the Year, Douglas Wilson (18.6 ppg), Summit League Freshman of the Year, Noah Friedel, and All-Summit League Second Team selection, Matt Detlinger.

“We are extremely excited to be back playing at the Sanford Pentagon, one of the nation’s premier places to play,” said South Dakota State head coach Eric Henderson. “From the facility, to the hospitality, and the opportunity to compete in Sioux Falls, everything about playing at the Pentagon is a slam dunk for our team.”

Northern Arizona finished the 2019-20 season with a 16-14 record, including a 10-10 conference record in the Big Sky. Under head coach Shane Burcar, the Lumberjacks’ 16 wins were more than the program’s total from the previous two seasons (10). NAU returns its leading scorer from a year ago, junior guard Cameron Shelton, an All-Big Sky third team selection. He was one of two players to rank in the top 10 of the Big Sky in points, rebounds, assists and steals last season.

“The organizers with the Pentagon group and Sanford Health were very easy to work with to set this game up with South Dakota State,” said Northern Arizona head coach Shane Burcar. “I remember watching Wisconsin and Saint Mary’s play on opening night last year, and the Pentagon is such a great college basketball environment to play in. It’s a privilege to play at the Pentagon.”

This will be the inaugural meeting between the two teams.

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