The South Dakota State women’s basketball team plans to stay undefeated this week as they take on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix.
The Jackrabbits are coming off wins against New Jersey Institute of Technology and George Washington. They breezed through their game against NJIT at Frost Arena, winning 92-48, but had trouble breaking away from George Washington in their 97-88 overtime victory on the road.
As a team, the Jacks are averaging 94.5 points per game through two games. Four of the five Jackrabbit starters are averaging double figures in points per game.
Head coach Aaron Johnston said he has been impressed with his offense’s versatility,
“What you are trying to be on offense is efficient and right now we are incredibly efficient, regardless of how many points we are scoring,” Johnston said. “We are getting good shots, we are getting the right people good looks and have been very balanced on offense.”
UND, hosted by the Jacks Nov. 15, finished last season with a 20-11 record and started its season with a loss against Oregon State. The Jacks defeated the Hawks 83-72 in Grand Forks last season.
The Fighting Hawks returned their second-leading scorer from last season in junior forward Lexi Klabo. UND will also be led by junior transfer Melissa Daily. The forward scored 15 points in the last game against Oregon State.
Johnston said UND has a similar style of play compared to the Jacks.
“They play at a pretty fast pace with a lot of motion offense,” he said. “They lean on their two forwards a lot. Like us, they are very versatile and they’ll play deep in their rotation.”
The Jacks will head east Nov. 18 to visit Green Bay. The Phoenix are another familiar team the Jacks have faced, but SDSU was blown out in last year’s matchup at Frost Arena 67-43.
Green Bay dominated the 2016-17 regular season with a 27-3 record. They won the Horizon League Tournament and made it to the NCAA Tournament, but lost to Purdue in the first round.
The Phoenix defeated Chattanooga 60-30 in their first game of the season. Seniors Jessica Lindstrom and Allie LeClaire are the top returners for Green Bay, after they averaged 13.1 and 11 points per game respectively last season.
“Green Bay is very good defensively. They’ll just take your strengths out and try and force you in uncomfortable situations,” Johnston said. “We need to figure out how to finish against those teams, make some plays when it really counts and get them out of their rhythm defensively.”
Junior guard Madison Guebert said the team wants revenge from last season’s loss.
“Last year after losing to them, there is obviously a little fuel to our fire with wanting another chance to get them back,” Guebert said.
The UND game will tip-off at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at Frost Arena. The Nov. 18 matchup will start at 1 p.m. at the Kress Center in Green Bay.