SDSU clinches Summit with win over Jags

Spencer Chase

The Jackrabbits stopped their sloppy play halfway through the second half to pull away from IUPUI and claim the Summit League regular season championship Feb. 25 outright at Frost Arena in 66-52 win.

“It worked out in our favor. I wouldn’t say it was the cleanest win for us, but we got it done and that’s how our team’s been doing,” Jennie Sunnarborg said.

The Jackrabbits were led by Sunnarborg who scored 20 points for her eighth 20-point performance of the season. Katie Lingle added 13 and Ashley Eide contributed 11. Kerah Nelson scored a game-high 21 for IUPUI. The Jackrabbits also won the rebounding battle against an aggressive post game from IUPUI. Even though the Jackrabbits pulled down 11 more rebounds than IUPUI, SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said the stat is not as impressive as it looks.

“We were down four on the offensive glass early in the game. I thought we rebounded better after the first 8 minutes or so,” Johnston said. “As much as the number went in our favor, I didn’t think we were great on the offensive glass at all.”

With the win, the Jackrabbits also secured a guaranteed postseason berth regardless of the outcome next week in Sioux Falls

“It’s great,” Johnston said. “We haven’t talked about that a lot. We’ll probably talk more about it once Monday’s game is over, but it’s a really valuable thing. Obviously the goal is to get to the NCAA (Tournament).”

The Jackrabbits next game is the final game of the regular season, a Feb. 27 matchup with Western Illinois at home. Sunnarborg said that the final home game for her as well as fellow senior Jill Young is a chance to cement their momentum going into the Summit League Tournament.

“We can’t relax, we can’t overlook any teams, and Monday is our next competition. We’re ready to go and hopefully it will turn out best for us,” Sunnarborg said.