Jackrabbits unleash offensive on Bison for season- high in points


Despite being located in another state and 190 miles away from home, SDSU is very comfortable in Fargo.

Friday was no exception as the Jacks pounded the rival Bison from NDSU, 88-52, at the Bison Sports Arena. It moves the Jackrabbits to 8-1 in the Summit League officially halfway through the conference schedule, as well as marking the seventh straight meeting in Fargo that the Jackrabbits have defeated the Bison by double-digits.

“We played a really good, complete game. We defended really well and they didn’t really play their best game,” SDSU coach Aaron Johnston said.

The Jackrabbits were crisp in nearly every element of their game, limiting turnovers, passing the ball effectively and scoring a season-high in points on the road.

Ashley Eide proved to be the beneficiary of NDSU’s defensive struggles, scoring a game-high 20 points, 14 of those coming in the first half. That spurt helped power a 17-3 run in the middle of the first half, and it put the Jacks up by as much as 20 in the first half before settling on 42-26 margin at the break.

“I thought Ashley Eide was fantastic tonight,” SDSU coach Aaron Johnston said. “She was diving on the floor, going after loose balls. She started the break and just really played fantastic for us.”

The Jackrabbits shot 10-of-16 from the three-point range, one shy of a season-high, and capitalized on their ability to get to the free throw line, making 20-of-29. Jennie Sunnarborg had 17 points, with Paluch and Rachel Walters each adding 10 points.

“We caught SDSU on all cylinders tonight,” NDSU head coach Carolyn DeHoff said. “We thought that we would match well with their outside players. They had 30 from Eide and Paluch and we broke down defensively in our gameplan.”

NDSU (7-14, 4-5 Summit) struggled to find any traction offensively, shooting 32 percent from the field and 2-of-12 from three-point territory. Janae Burich was the lone bright spot with 12 points for a team that has been plagued by injuries since the beginning of the year, when Katie Birkel was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Balance continues to be a story for the Jackrabbits, with 11 of their 12 dressed players scoring. That came as a surprise to many who follow the Bison on a regular basis, unaware to the point that the Jacks had that kind of depth.

“We knew we had it and it kind of fell together tonight,” Paluch said. “That doesn’t mean the next game we’re going to score 80 or so points, but it definitely helps us to see we can perform like that.”

SDSU now sits with a big advantage in the Summit League. The three-time defending champions are now a game ahead of Oral Roberts and at least three games ahead of the next closest group of teams.  The Jacks will benefit from having just one game for the weekend, having extra time to prepare before heading to IPFW and Oakland next week.

“It’s been a focus for us to be the top team and we haven’t really done that in the past and going into it we’re just trying to do our best,” Eide said.