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Courtesy: USF Athletics

Cougars Face Two Top-15 Teams This Weekend

Courtesy: USF Athletics
          Release: 12/05/2012
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Game Information 
Sioux Falls heads to Wayne, Neb., on Friday, December 7 to take on No. 15 Wayne State College before returning to Sioux Falls, S.D. Saturday night for their 28th all-time meeting versus No. 7 Augustana College. The winner of the USF/AC contest will earn one half a point for their institution in the First Dakota National Bank Mayor’s Cup Challenge.

 For current standings or more information about the Mayor's Cup, click here

The Broadcast
Live Stream: Augustana and Wayne State will provide a free live stream of Friday and Saturday's games. Click here to watch.

Radio: KWSN (1230 AM) will air Saturday's game. Tom Frederick will provide the play-by-play.

Fast Start

USF has opened the season with a 4-1 record. It is the second time that a Traphagen-coached team has began the year at 4-1 (2008-09).

Dish Network
The Cougars have handed out 10 or more assists in four of five games this season, highlighted by a 22-assist game vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, where USF made 29 field goals.

In the Month of December
The Cougars are 21-5 (.808) all-time in the month of December under Coach Traphagen. The losses: Morningside (twice), Dakota State, Briar Cliff and Black Hills State University.

Being Defensive
The key to the Cougar success so far this season has been their ability to defend. USF leads the NSIC in field goal percentage defense (33.0%) and stands fourth in scoring defense (55.0) and three-point field goal defense (26.6%).

By the Numbers
1   USF’s rank in the NSIC in field goal percentage defense (33.0%)
2   Starters that have missed the last four games due to injury    
3   Starters that the Cougars returned from last season’s 23-3 team
4   Players with double-digit point totals in the win over SMSU
5   Number of different Cougar starting lineups in their first five games
7   Newcomers that will take the court for the Cougars this year
9   Straight points that Lauren McKinnis scored in the 2nd half to seal the     
     Cougars’ win at SMSU.
10  Free throws converted (of 12 total) by Laura Johnson against the SMSU
11   Turnovers committed against Southwest Minnesota State; a season-low
       mark for the Cougars
16   USF’s rank in the NSIC in 3-point FG% (26.9%)
51.5   Percent of last season’s rebounding that has returned for 2012-13
56.3   Percent of last season’s scoring that is back on the court for the
          Cougars in 2012-13
58.8   Percent of last season’s steals that are back in 2012-13
64      Number of games that Laura Johnson has started in a row; she has     
          started every game of her Cougar career.

Where the Cougars Rank Nationally

USF ranks 97th in the nation in scoring offense (69.8)…47th in scoring defense (55.0)…46th in scoring margin…29th in field goal percentage defense (33.0 %)…56th in rebounding margin (6.6)…66th in three-point field goals per game (6.4)…215th in three-point field goal percentage (26.9%)…12th in turnovers per game (13.8) and 36th in turnover margin (5.8).

Coach Trap vs. Lions, Tigers & Bearcats
Coach Traphagen is 14-1 all-time versus teams with cat mascots. His only loss came on 1/30/10, when the Cougars were suffered a 68-62 loss to the Doane College Tigers.

What the Wildcats Have Done
Wayne State College is ranked 15th in this week’s USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon. The Wildcats received a total of 311 points and dropped six spots from last week’s poll following a 82-56 setback at then #10 Augustana on Saturday. The Wildcats enter the weekend with a 3-1 record. Four WSC players are averaging double figures, led by sophomore forward Jordan Spencer with 17.5 points. Ashton Yossi is second with 14.3 points, while Ellen Hansen averages 11.3 points and a team-best 9.8 rebounds and Katie Hoskins puts up an average of 11.0 points per contest. Addy Roller has handed out a team-high 21 assists. The Wildcats rely heavily on the 3-pointer, making 6.8 per game, while shooting 34.2 %. They have staked their claim to the glass, with a +9 rebound margin.

Not in My House

Wayne State leads the NSIC with 30 blocks, 15 of which belong to 6-6 sophomore center Whitney Epp.

Against the Wildcats
Wayne State leads the all-time series over USF, 4-0. The teams first played during the 1984-85 season, when Wayne State edged Sioux Falls, 74-72.

Trap Cut His Teeth at WSC
Ironically, Traphagen was a graduate assistant coach at Wayne State College the last time the Wildcats and the Cougars faced off on the hardwood. On November 21, 2000, the Wildcats defeated the Cougars at home, 63-51.

Home Cooking
Wayne State has recorded 49 straight wins in Rice Auditorium.  Last season, WSC finished unbeaten at home for a third straight season going 16-0, the most wins at home by any team in school history. The 2010-11 season concluded with a perfect 12-0 record and in 2009-10, WSC was a perfect 15-0 at home. The last home loss for Wayne State was the final game of the 2008-09 season when Southwest Minnesota State defeated the Wildcats in Rice Auditorium 67-62 on February 25, 2009.

What the Vikings Have Done
Augustana College (5-0, 1-0 NSIC) is ranked 7th in this week’s USA Today Sports Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon. The Vikings received a total of 555 points and jumped three spots after routing then-No. 9 Wayne State College at home, 82-56. The Vikings lead the NSIC in scoring margin at +26.0 and stand second in total scoring (82.0) in league contests. The Vikings also lead the conference in three-point field goal percentage (47.1%) and rebounding margin (+14.0). They also boast the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the NSIC (1.5).

Spreading the Wealth
All five of the Vikings’ starters average more than 10 points per game. Through its first five games, Augustana has seen four different top scorers in the final box. Each starter is shooting at better than a 40.0% clip.

Through five games, Faith Tinklenberg is first or second in five different statistical categories for the Vikings. The forward leads the squad in rebounds (7.8 per game) and blocked shots (5) and stands second in scoring (12.0 ppg), field goal percentage (45.8%) and three-point field goal percentage (36.0%).

Against the Vikings
The USF-Augustana series has been a lopsided to date, as the Vikings own an all-time record of 24-3 against the Cougars. The series opened with Sioux Falls defeating Augustana 41-30 during the 1972-73 season, before the Vikings rattled off 13 straight wins against the Cougars. Sioux Falls got back in the winning column with a 70-60 win in 1988 and the Vikings won the next 11 in a row sbefore dropping last year’s game at the Sioux Falls Arena to the Cougars, 65-59.

This will be the first conference matchup between the two programs. In the years prior, the Augustana/USF men’s and women’s contests were part of the Prairie Spirit Charitable Challenge at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Augustana is 8-0 against USF at the Elmen Center.

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