Oakland tops Jacks in overtime

Marcus Traxler

Marcus TraxlerAssistant Sports Editor

For the second night in a row, the Jackrabbit women dropped a close overtime affair.

Add free throw shooting to the long list of letdowns for the SDSU women’s basketball team this season.

The Jackrabbits – normally steadfast from the free throw line – shot 52 percent for the game and came up one point short after Steph Paluch’s runner from the lane wouldn’t fall and the Jackrabbits fell to Oakland in overtime 57-56 at Frost Arena on Jan. 24.

Bethany Watterworth’s free throw with five seconds left gave the Golden Grizzlies the clinching point, marking yet another close loss for SDSU.

“It’s unbelievably frustrating. I just don’t understand how we can just give games away to people. We let teams come into our home court, our arena and we just give them our games,” said Kristin Rotert.

The Jackrabbits got off to a less than thrilling start, falling behind 13-2 to the Golden Grizzlies and turning the ball over four times during that span. SDSU countered with an 8-0 run of their own to draw to within two. The remainder of the first half would stay close, with the Jacks taking the lead at 21-20, until Oakland ended the half with another 8-0 run and take a 28-21 advantage into the intermission.

The second half was marked by long scoring droughts including four periods of at least two minutes without a basket by either side. SDSU used all of the second half to inch back into the game and closed the gap to one with 21 seconds to go on a Jill Young three-pointer.

After Watterworth split a pair of free throws, Kristin Rotert was fouled away from the ball and sank both of her free throws to tie the game for the first time with seven seconds left. Blocks by Jennifer Schuttloffel and Jennie Sunnarborg respectively sent the game to overtime for the second game in a row for the Jackrabbits, at 51-51.

Macie Michelson opened the scoring in overtime with her only points of the game, a three pointer to give the Jacks their first lead since 3:51 in the first half. Oakland would score the next five points before Ashley Eide’s lay-up evened the game at 56 with over a minute to go.

Sunnarborg had a chance to put SDSU ahead but the normally strong free throw shooter missed both and Watterworth converted the final point of the game on the other end. SDSU missed all four of its free throws in the overtime period.

“It just comes down to making plays. We didn’t make lay-ups, we got fouled on the shots we had down low and they were good shots, we just have to execute those free throws,” said Schuttloffel.

Rotert recorded her second career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The loss marks SDSU’s sixth home loss of the season – the most in the DIvision I era.

“Losses feel like losses, whether you are at Frost or anywhere else,” said SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston. “I don’t think the way we lost tonight, to me, feels any different than how we would have lost any of our other games. Ultimately, you still have the same feeling.”

#1.1918875:479301226.png:oakland2-wbb-GALLAGHER.png:Jennie Sunnarborg tries to shoot in traffic against the Oakland defense on Jan. 24 in a 57-56 Jackrabbit loss.:Collegian Photo by Robby Gallagher