Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Women Host Dakota Wesleyan, Western Illinois
After surviving their only road test in the first half of the 2018 Summit League schedule, the South Dakota State women's basketball team is back home this week, taking a break from conference play briefly before jumping back in this weekend.
The Jackrabbits fill an open date in their schedule when they host Dakota Wesleyan, tonight (January 16).
SDSU (14-4/4-0 Summit League) is riding a four-game winning streak. DWU (16-4/8-3 Great Plains Conference) is ranked eighth in the latest NAIA Division II national poll. The Tigers are led by senior twin sisters Ashley and Amber Bray, who average 29 points per game between them.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM, tonight in Brookings.
Saturday (January 20), the Jackrabbits return to Summit League play when they host Western Illinois in a game that will feature four of the conference's top five scorers.
The Leathernecks' (13-5/3-1) point production has dipped a bit since starting league play, but pre-season player of the year Emily Clemens is still second in the Summit in scoring, averaging 19 points per game. Taylor Higginbotham is third (17 points per game). South Dakota State's Madison Guebert (20 points per game) and Macy Miller (16 points per game) and first and fifth in scoring in the conference.
While Western's offensive numbers are down a bit, they have clamped down on defense in Summit League play, leading the conference in opponents field goal percentage, steals, and rebounding. Clemens is second in steals. Higginbotham, Oliva Braun, and Morgan Blumber are in the top five in rebounding.
Tipoff is 2:00 PM, Saturday in Brookings.
The Jackrabbits won 69-58 at Denver last Thursday (January 11), despite shooting just 38 percent in the first half and trailing by as many as seven points.
SDSU trimmed the lead to two at halftime and then scored the first seven points of the third quarter before the Pioneers used three-point shooting take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter.
The final ten minutes belonged to the Jackrabbits as they outscored Denver 26-14. Madison Guebert scored nine points in the period, joining Macy Miller as SDSU's leading scorer with 18 points.
Myah Selland had four steals and five of South Dakota State's 16 offensive rebounds in the game. SDSU was plus-13 on the boards and forced 19 turnovers.
Saturday (January 13), the Jackrabbits finished off their first Summit League road trip of the season with a 77-70 win at Oral Roberts.
Lexi Alexander got SDSU off to a good start with four early points. She finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
The Golden Eagles used an 8-0 second quarter run to grab a seven-point lead. The Jacks responded with a 10-0 run to grab a three-point halftime lead.
ORU started the second half with a 9-2 run to take a six-point lead. Faith Ihim led the way with 24 points.
SDSU led by two heading into the fourth quarter, when Guebert took over, scoring six points in the final ten minutes, keying an 11-4 run to put the game out of reach.
Guebert finished with 17 points. Miller had a season-high 26 points.
I talked with Jackrabbits coach Aaron Johnston about last week's sweep and this week's match-ups with Dakota Wesleyan and Western Illinois: