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Jacks Give A.J. Record Victory

South Dakota State Jackrabbits head women's basketball coach Aaron Johnston
Robby Gallagher/South Dakota State University

ROCHESTER, MI — South Dakota State strung together two big first-half runs and cruised to a 64-43 victory over Oakland in Summit League women’s basketball action Thursday as Jackrabbit head coach Aaron Johnston became the program’s career leader in coaching victories.

In extending their winning streak to six and winning for the ninth time in 10 games, the Jackrabbits improved to 12-5 overall and remained undefeated in league play with a 4-0 mark. Johnston, in his 13th season, upped his career mark to 302-104 (.744 winning percentage) to pass Nancy Neiber (301-140 record in 16 seasons from 1984-2000).

Oakland dropped to 7-9 overall, 1-3 in The Summit League.

Trailing 6-5 after four minutes of play, Ashley Eide gave the Jackrabbits the lead for good with a basket, while Katie Lingle scored all eight of her points on the night in a five-minute span to finish off the run with SDSU leading 18-8.

Oakland climbed back to within a basket at 22-20 on an Amy Carlton three-pointer with less than four minutes to play in the first half. However, the Jackrabbits recovered to close the stanza on a 10-2 run that included three-pointers by Tara Heiser and Megan Waytashek to go into intermission with a 32-22 lead.

In the second half, the Golden Grizzlies trimmed the margin to single digits only once, 39-31, with a few ticks under 15 minutes to play. Once again the Jackrabbits had the answer from the perimeter as Heiser knocked down her third three-pointer of the game and freshman Chloe Cornemann added a pair of trifectas.

Oakland could get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way, while the Jackrabbits’ 21-point margin of victory was their largest lead of the night.

Waytashek led all scorers with 13 points, followed by 12 from Eide. The Jackrabbits ended the game 25-of-68 from the field, 36.8 percent, including 10-of-28 from three-point range.

The Golden Grizzlies, meanwhile, finished the night 17-of-52 from the field, 32.7 percent, including a 5-for-18 effort from three-point range. Oakland, which did not have a player reach double figures, was led by Elena Popkey with nine points and Olivia Nash with eight.

Free throws were at a minimum as the Jackrabbits made only 4-of-9 attempts, 44.4 percent, with Oakland making four of its eight tries.

SDSU held a 45-35 advantage in the rebounding department, with 11 of the 12 Jackrabbit players to see action notching at least one board. Leah Dietel led the Jackrabbits with seven rebounds, with Nash totaling seven for Oakland.

The Jackrabbits close out their first Summit League road trip of the season Saturday at Fort Wayne. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central) at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center on the IPFW campus.

NOTES
* SDSU has won the last five meetings and leads the all-time series 10-3.
* The Jackrabbits have won seven consecutive Summit League regular season games dating back to last season.
* SDSU improved to 79-15 (.840 winning percentage) in Summit League regular season games since joining the league at the start of the 2007-08 season.
* The Jackrabbits are 7-0 this season when leading at the half.
* Eide and Waytashek each scored in double figures for the 13th time this season.
* Hesier made her first start of the season, joining the Jackrabbit starting five in place of Gabby Boever.
* Boever, however, tied a career high with six assists – all of which came in the first half.
* Cornemann finished with a career-high eight points.
* SDSU held a 25-22 advantage in bench points.
* Oakland committed 26 turnovers, compared to 18 by the Jackrabbits.
* Attendance was 423 at the Athletics Center O’rena

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Courtesy:  South Dakota State University

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