Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Women at North Dakota State, Omaha
After dropping just one game during the first half of the 2018 Summit League schedule, the South Dakota State women's basketball team begins the second half in a place they'll be a lot over the final four weeks - on the road.
Five of the Jackrabbits seven games in the second half are away from Brookings, starting Thursday (February 1) at North Dakota State.
The Bison (8-13/1-6 Summit League) have dropped two straight, turning the ball over 36 times in losses to Omaha and Western Illinois.
NDSU's leading scorer each of the past two seasons, Taylor Thunstedt, has seen her production and minutes decrease this season as the Bison look for more balance on offense. Sophomores Reilly Jacobson (13 points per game) and Sarah Jacobson (12 points per game) are leading an offense that is sixth in the Summit in scoring, fourth in shooting accuracy.
SDSU won the first meeting 83-63, despite NDSU shooting 64 percent in the first half. The Jacks blew the game open outscoring the Bison 25-10 in the third quarter. South Dakota State scored 40 points in the paint in the victory. Madison Guebert led four players in double figures with 18 points.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM, Thursday in Fargo.
Saturday (February 3), the Jackrabbits travel to Omaha.
The Mavericks (10-10/1-6 Summit League) come into this week after winning their first game of the conference schedule last week, rallying from 12 points down to beat North Dakota State. Their 80 points and 47 percent shooting against the Bison were their top offensive output in six weeks.
UNO is led by junior Amber Vidal (13 points per game), but has been without second leading scorer Jay Bridgeman (12 points per game) for the last six games.
Junior center Courtney Vaccher is second in the Summit in rebounding and in the top ten in blocked shots.
SDSU won the first meeting 89-64, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a 13-point advantage after hitting seven three-pointers in the third quarter.
Guebert had 16 of her game high 25 points in the second half.
Tipoff is 1:00 PM, Saturday in Omaha.
The Jackrabbits will continue to play without injured starting guard Myah Selland, who has missed the last three games.
Last Thursday (January 25), the Jackrabbits saw a six-game winning streak come to an end with a 67-61 loss to South Dakota in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 at Frost Arena.
The last two remaining unbeaten teams in Summit League were even after a quarter, but USD rattled off 12 straight points to start the second quarter. Senior Kate Liveringhouse scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half, as the Coyotes took a five-point lead into intermission.
South Dakota extended that advantage to 13 early in the third, before SDSU mounted a comeback.
The Jackrabbits got six points from Macy Miller during a three minute stretch of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one, but the Coyote defense limited SDSU to just two field goals on their last seven attempts of the game, winning by six.
USD scored 20 points off of 11 Jackrabbit turnovers.
South Dakota State bounced back with a 105-49 win over Fort Wayne, Saturday (January 27).
SDSU took control of the game right away, scoring the first eight points and 16 of the first 19. Guebert had 13 of her 22 points in the first half. Ellie Thompson had 16 of her career-high 23 points in the second half.
The Jackrabbit defense limited the Mastodons to just 29 percent from the floor.
I talked with head coach Aaron Johnston about last week's split and this week's match-ups with North Dakota State and Omaha: