Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Women Host Fort Wayne, Omaha
The South Dakota State women's basketball team experienced the razor thin edge between winning and losing in the Summit League during week one of the conference schedule, playing a pair of three-point games on the road, winning one and losing one.
This week, the Jackrabbits (10-4/1-1) are back home for the first of three straight games inside Frost Arena.
First up is Fort Wayne Thursday night.
The Mastodons (3-12/0-2) come in struggling after losing by 22 and 26 in the opening week of the Summit League slate last week. Fort Wayne is last in the conference in scoring, rebounding, and opponents' field goal percentage.
They are a young team with just one senior starter, Rachel Rinehart. She leads the league in steals. Sophomore guard De'Jour Young (12 points per game) is the only player averaging in double figures in scoring.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM Thursday in Brookings.
Saturday, SDSU welcomes an Omaha team that let one slip away against Oral Roberts last week, leading by as many as 13 in the third, before 21 turnovers caught up with them and they fell to the Golden Eagles by two.
The Mavericks (7-7/0-1) are led by all-conference forward Mikaela Shaw, who's fourth in the league in scoring (15 points per game) and fifth in rebounding.
Tipoff is 2:00 PM Saturday in Brookings.
South Dakota State came from behind to win and gave up a lead and lost in the opening week of Summit League play.
SDSU allowed North Dakota State to hit 62 percent from the floor in the first quarter in Fargo, including 14 of their first 27 points in the paint, to open up a nine-point lead.
But the Jackrabbit defense played much better in the second quarter, limiting the Bison to less than 36 percent shooting, while SDSU's Kerri Young and Maddie Guebert combined for 14 second quarter points to pull the Jacks to within three at the break.
The NDSU lead ballooned to six with 8:30 to play in the fourth when Guebert and Sydney Palmer hit back-to-back three pointers to tie the game.
Down one in the final minute, SDSU got a basket from Young to re-take the lead and then used a couple of defensive stops to secure the 69-66 win.
Saturday at South Dakota, it was the Jacks turn to start strong, controlling the pace at both bends of the floor in the first half, out shooting USD 48 to 29 percent to open up an 11-point lead at halftime.
The roles were completely reversed in the third quarter when the Coyotes got hot (57%) and SDSU went cold (21%), resulting in a two-point USD lead after three.
The Jackrabbits trailed by six with 6:30 left in the fourth when for the second straight game, three-point shooting drew them even. Back-to-back triples from Young and Palmer tied the game with 5:24 left.
But the Summit's leading scorer Allison Arens ran off the final eight points of the game for the Coyotes, who dodged a pair of SDSU three-point attempts in the final seconds to hand the Jackrabbits a 65-62 loss.
I talked with Jackrabbits Coach Aaron Johnston about last week's split and this week's games with Fort Wayne and Omaha: