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Jackrabbits Run Past Western Illinois 86-51

Megan Stuart, South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Dennis Hubbard/South Dakota State University

BROOKINGS, SD — Four South Dakota State players scored in double figures and all 12 Jackrabbit players to see action scored in an 86-51 victory over Western Illinois in Summit League women’s basketball action Thursday night at Frost Arena.

The Jackrabbits, who ran their winning streak to eight, improved to 14-5 overall and 6-0 in league play. WIU dropped to 9-8 overall, 2-3 in The Summit League.

SDSU never trailed in the contest and broke a 2-all tie by scoring the next seven points. The Jackrabbits built their lead to double digits for the first time at 24-13 on a basket by Katie Lingle with 5:34 remaining as part of another 7-0 spurt.

The Jackrabbit lead grew to 20 points in the final minutes of the first half, with SDSU taking a 44-25 lead into halftime after Hannah Strop sank a three-pointer from the right wing with five seconds remaining.

SDSU continued to extend its lead in the second half on the strength of 61 percent (17-of-28) shooting from the field. The Fighting Leathernecks trimmed the margin to 16 points, 50-34, in the opening minutes of the second half before SDSU countered with a 16-4 run to put the game away.

Ashley Eide led the Jackrabbits with 16 points, followed by 15 from reigning Summit League Player of the Week Megan Waytashek. Reserve Megan Stuart scored a career-high 10 points, while Lingle also came off the bench to score 10 points.

The Jackrabbits ended the night 32-of-63 from the field, 50.8 percent, including 9-of-22 from three-point range. At the line, SDSU made 13-of-21 attempts, 61.9 percent.

Strop hauled in a career-best eight rebounds and Leah Dietel also corralled eight boards to pace SDSU’s 51-35 advantage in rebounding.

Western Illinois received 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field by Ashley Luke. Rebecca Henricson added 10 points and three assists for the Fighting Leathernecks. Luke and Saule Kontautaite posted a team-high six rebounds each. Kontautaite, who came into the game as WIU’s leading scorer with an average of 13.9 points per game, was held scoreless in Thursday’s contest.

From the field, WIU was 19-of-65, 29.2percent, including 6-of-27 from long range. The Fighting Leathernecks converted 7-of-12 free throws for 58.3 percent.

SDSU closes out its brief homestand Saturday afternoon against IUPUI. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at Frost Arena.

Play Video  Postgame Comments – WIU Head Coach J.D. Gravina
Play Video  Postgame Comments – Ashley Eide and Hannah Strop
Play Video  Postgame Comments – SDSU Head Coach Aaron Johnston

NOTES
* SDSU leads the all-time series 11-1 and has won the last 11 meetings.
* The Jackrabbits improved to 44-5 (.898 winning percentage) at home against Summit League opponents.
* SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston upped his career record to 304-104 (.745).
* With IUPUI losing Thursday at North Dakota State 71-68, the Jackrabbits are the only team with fewer than two league losses.
* The Jackrabbits set season highs for points (86), field goals made (32) and field goal percentage (50.8) , and tied their season high with 51 rebounds.
* Stuart was 5-for-6 from the field en route to her career-high 10 points. Strop was 3-for-4 from three-point range for nine points. Chloe Cornemann tied a career high with four assists.
* Freshman guard Jessica Hart scored her first collegiate points on a jumper in the closing minutes.
* Attendance was 2,346

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Courtesy:  South Dakota State University

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