Summit League Women’s Tournament Preview: (2) South Dakota State vs. (7) North Dakota State
The South Dakota State women's basketball fell just short of their goal of winning the Summit League regular season for the first time in five seasons, but the Jackrabbits are still very much in the hunt to capture their eighth Summit League Tournament title in the last ten years.
SDSU (23-6/12-2) is the number-two seed after finishing two games back of first place South Dakota in the standings. They open tournament play with number-seven North Dakota State.
The only two Summit League wins for the Bison (9-19/2-12) this season came against last place Fort Wayne.
NDSU is sixth in the conference in scoring (64 points per game) and fifth in points allowed (76). Sophomores Reilly Jacobson and Sarah Jacobson (no relation) both average in double figures for a team that has just one senior on its roster.
The Bison have struggled with turnovers this season, 14 or more in 12 of their 14 Summit League games.
South Dakota State swept the season series, winning by 20 in Brookings and by 21 in Fargo. In the first meeting, the Bison kept it close in the first half, shooting 64 percent in the first half, before being outscored 46-29 in the second half.
The Jackrabbits scored 86 points in the paint in two games against NDSU.
Tipoff is 2:30 PM, Saturday in Sioux Falls.
Last Wednesday (February 21) South Dakota State lost 80-75 at South Dakota.
The Jackrabbit offense was clicking through the first three quarters, hitting 60 percent and scoring 38 points in the paint. But all of that changed in the fourth, when the Jacks shot just 19 percent and scored only two points inside. The Coyotes rallied from nine points down in the final eight minutes to sweep the season series with SDSU.
Last Saturday (February 24), the Jackrabbits closed out the regular season, winning 77-55 at Fort Wayne.
SDSU started the game on a 10-3 run and held the Mastodons to just nine first quarter points. Overall, the Jacks shot 52 percent for the game and were led in scoring by Summit League Player of the Year Macy Miller's 18 points.
I talked with head coach Aaron Johnston about last week's split and the Summit League Tournament opening round match-up with North Dakota State: