Jacks whip Western Illinois

Marcus Traxler

Marcus TraxlerAssistant Sports Editor

With a performance like this, the Jackrabbit women should be tickled pink.

SDSU found a way to hold Western Illinois to a meager point total and lit it up from long-range to key a 65-40 victory at Frost Arena on Feb. 12.

The Jacks (12-13, 8-6) made their mark from the three-point stripe, converting nine triples and it was a major difference in the game, considering WIU (7-16, 5-8) did not make a three pointer on the night. The win continues a string of hot three-point shooting for the Jacks, who have averaged eight made threes in the last 10 games.

“We just have to continue to be smart with those shots. We can’t get completely committed to the three-point line. We still need to have balance and I think we had that tonight,” said SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston.

“For us lately, that has been a big reason for why we’ve been scoring so many points and we’ve played a lot better offensively.

“We’ve had a lot of players step up and make those shots,” said Kristin Rotert, who scored 22 points in the victory and has found double-digits in six of her last seven games.

SDSUpulled away in the second half behind the strength of two 10-0 runs while the Leathernecks couldn’t generate much offensively – shooting 26 percent for the game – and were on the wrong end of an eight-and-a-half minute scoring drought.

“I think there was a stretch in the second half where we held them without a basket for a really long time and our defense really picked up,” Rotert said.

SDSU might want to bottle this winning formula for at home, as this marks their third straight home victory with all three coming in convincing fashion.

Perhaps the brightest spot for the Jackrabbits recently has been their ability to tie down opponents defensively, as SDSU’s field goal defense has improved over the second half of the Summit League slate.

“We’ve been on the road the last few weekends and it was nice to be back at home in Frost Arena, in front of our fan base and supporting a good cause. It was fun to come out and get a big win for us,” Sunnarborg said.

That good cause was the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Pink Zone initiative, which raises awareness for breast cancer and led the Jacks to wear bright pink uniforms for game.

Sunnarborg finished the game with 16 points and SDSU finished the game shooting 48 percent.

“Defensively, I thought we were really good in the second half and offensively, I thought we executed pretty well. We seemed to get the ball to the right people in the right spots,” Johnston said.

#1.1999880:74574501.png:DSC_1009.png:Jennie Sunnarborg shoots over Western Illinois? Jackie Rieger in the first half on Feb. 12. Sunnarborg scored 16 points.:Collegian Photo by Andrew Turner