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Jacks Roll To Johnston’s 300th Win

Megan Waytashek, South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Robby Gallagher/South Dakota State University

BROOKINGS, SD — Megan Waytashek recorded a double-double and the rest of the Jackrabbit supporting cast got in the mix as South Dakota State cruised to an 82-47 victory over Kansas City Thursday night in Summit League women’s basketball action at Frost Arena.

The victory was career win No. 300 for South Dakota State head coach Aaron Johnston as his Jackrabbits improved to 10-5 overall and 2-0 in league play. UMKC, which lost its seventh game in a row, dropped to 4-11 on the season, 0-2 in The Summit League.

After spotting the Kangaroos an early 5-0 lead, SDSU dominated the rest of the game. The Jackrabbits scored the next 12 points and took their first double-digit lead of the game at 20-8 on a three-pointer by Rachel Walters with 9 minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the first half.

Offensive rebounding and strong play by Jackrabbit reserves allowed SDSU to continue to build its lead. Sophomore forward Mariah Clarin scored eight consecutive Jackrabbit points, with starters Hannah Strop and Waytashek adding three pointers in the final two minutes of the half as part of a 16-2 run to close the opening stanza. Waytashek’s three-pointer came with six seconds remaining in the half to push the SDSU lead to 40-15.

SDSU held a 16-0 advantage in second-chance points in the first half, while Jackrabbit reserves outscored their UMKC counterparts 19-0 in the opening 20 minutes.

It was more of the same in the second half as the Jackrabbit advantage hit 30 points, 54-24, on a Waytashek three-pointer at the 14:42 mark. SDSU’s lead hit its high-water mark of 41 points, 74-33, on Walters’ second three-pointer of the game with 7:19 to play.

A sophomore from Lino Lakes, Minn., Waytashek finished with 15 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Clarin was the only other Jackrabbit player in double figures with 12 points, although 11 of the 12 SDSU players to see action scored.

SDSU ended the night 28-of-58 from the field, 48.3 percent, including 8-of-19 from three-point range. At the line, the Jackrabbits converted 18-of-25 attempts for 72 percent.

Kansas City wrapped up the game 14-of-39 from the floor, 35.9 percent, with a 3-for-11 effort from behind the arc. The Kangaroos made 16-of-21 free throw attempts, 76.2 percent.

Eilise O’Connor led UMKC with 15 points, going 11-of-12 at the free throw line. Hailey Houser added nine points off the bench in the second half.

The Jackrabbits held a commanding 44-17 advantage on the boards, including a 19-3 edge on the offensive glass. All but one SDSU player tallied a rebound.

SDSU closes out its homestand with a Sunday matinee against in-state rival South Dakota. Tipoff for the South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn is slated for 2 p.m. at Frost Arena.

NOTES
* SDSU leads the all-time series, 12-1, and has won the last seven matchups.
* Johnston has a 300-104 (.743 winning percentage) in 13 seasons – all at SDSU.
* The Jackrabbits improved to 77-15 (.837) in Summit League regular season games and 42-5 (.894) at Frost Arena.
* The Jackrabbits set a season high in points for the second straight game, while tying season highs with 28 made field goals and 19 assists.
* Leading scorer Ashley Eide was held to a season-low four points and went 0-for-3 from three-point range.
* Megan Stuart tied her career high with eight points.
* For the game, SDSU held a 43-16 advantage in bench points and 23-4 edge in second-chance points.
* Jackrabbit reserves combined to go 16-of-32 from the field, led by Clarin’s 5-for-8 effort.
* Freshman point guard Chloe Cornemann recorded a career-high four assists for the second consecutive game.
* Attendance was 1,569

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Courtesy:  South Dakota State University

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