Sunnarborg and the Jacks power past the Kangaroos, 81-57

Marcus Traxler

Marcus TraxlerAssistant Sports Editor

Without a doubt, the SDSU women’s basketball team has been inconsistent this season.

Jennie Sunnarborg hasn’t been lately.

On Jan. 31, the Jackrabbits worked their way to an 81-57 victory over UMKC, powered by a career-high 28 points from Sunnarborg.

The 6′ 2″ junior has been building to a game like this. Sunnarborg is averaging nearly 18 points per game in the last eight contests and has been the most steady scorer all season. She went 10 of 18 from the field and added five rebounds and four steals to her stat line for the night.

SDSU wasted no time putting the Kangaroos down, jumping out to a 21-3 lead in the first eight minutes of the game, including nine points in that span from Sunnarborg.

“My teammates definitely deserve the credit for everything. They find me when I’m open, and I’ll just knock down the shot when I get the opportunity to,” Sunnarborg said.

“Jennie has the ability to be a dominant offensive player in this league. She’s very good. There’s not many post players that are this athletic, versatile, or as talented as Jennie,” said SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston.

Despite their fast start, SDSU (10-12, 6-5) lacked the ability to put UMKC (9-13, 4-7) away early, allowing them to hang around. The Kangaroos used a 13-4 run to open the second half, cutting the lead to as close as eight at 47-39 with 15 minutes left.

UMKC would be within nine with 12 minutes to go before the Jacks scored 26 of the next 34 points to close the victory out at home, moving the Jacks to an even 6-6 record at home on the season.

“We knew we could play a lot better than we had and we could play a lot harder than we had been playing. I think that really showed up this weekend for us,” Jill Young said.

Macie Michelson had 12 points and Young added 10 for SDSU. The weekend sweep marks the first time since the first week of the season that the Jacks have strung together back-to-back home wins and the team rebounded nicely from two overtime losses the week before.

“It’s definitely been character building for our team. Those losses definitely didn’t make or break our season but it definitely shows us where we’re at,” Sunnarborg said.

The win keeps the Jackrabbits in a tie for fourth place in the conference, along with NDSU at 6-5. A logjam of four teams shared that honor going into the night’s slate of games.

“We’re going to have to be much more consistent. We’ve had some good weekends in the past and we just haven’t followed them up with good weekends. You just need things to go your way,” Johnston said.

#1.1960139:1570070310.png:umkc-wbb-GALLAGHER.png:Macie Michelson drives past UMKC?s LeAndrea Thomas in the second half of the Jacks? victory on Jan. 31 at Frost Arena. Michelson scored 12 points in the league win.:Collegian Photo by Robby Gallagher