Summit League Preview: Jackrabbit Women at Omaha, Host North Dakota State
We've reached the final full month of the Summit League women's basketball season, and as expected, the race for the regular season championship is a two-team battle between defending regular season champ, South Dakota, and last season's tournament champion, South Dakota State.
The Jackrabbits (17-4/7-1) begin play this week even with the Coyotes in the loss column, a half game back overall.
The second half of SDSU's Summit League schedule starts at Omaha, a team the Jacks beat 68-58 back in week one. In that game, freshman Maddie Guebert had a break out night, with six three-pointers, part of a career-high 23 points. Macy Miller added 29 for SDSU, who used a big defensive effort in the second quarter (allowing just three points) to lead by ten at halftime.
The Mavericks (11-10/4-5) are led by forward Mikaela Shaw, who comes in second in scoring (19 per game) and second in rebounding (10 per game) in the Summit. Freshman center Caroline Houge scored 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the first meeting with SDSU.
UNO is the most accurate three-point shooting team (37%) in the league.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Omaha, Thursday night.
The Jackrabbits conclude week six at home with North Dakota State.
Even though SDSU won 81-63 in Fargo last month, the game was a lot tighter than the final score suggests. The Jacks lead was just three points before a 15-0 fourth quarter run sealed the victory.
South Dakota State had four players score in double figures, led by Macy Miller's 29 points. Ellie Thompson added a double-double (16 points/12 rebounds), Kerri Young had 16 points, and Clarissa Ober finished just shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
North Dakota State was led by sophomore Taylor Thunstedt's 28 points.
The Bison (6-16/1-8) have two of the top four scorers in the league in Thunstedt and Marena Whittle, but are last in the conference in defense and have turned the ball over 16 times or more in each of their last six games.
Tipoff is 4:30 PM in Brookings, Saturday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits won their only game last week - a 68-50 victory at Oral Roberts. Chloe Cornemann keyed an early 8-0 SDSU run with back-to-back three-pointers, as the Jackrabbits jumped out to an early lead despite shooting just 33 percent in the first quarter.
The SDSU defense held ORU to less than 26 percent from the field, turning the Golden Eagles over 15 times.
Ellie Thompson and Clarissa Ober were a combined 12-for-17 from floor, for 28 points. Macy Miller added 13 points, as the Jackrabbits ran their road winning streak to four games.
I talked with head coach Aaron Johnston about the victory and this week's match-ups with Omaha and North Dakota State: