Women’s basketball takes down IPFW 83-62

Drue Aman

Drue Aman

The Jackrabbits are appearing to find their identity. For the second time in three nights, the Jackrabbits passed, shot, rebounded and played with gusto, reminiscent of a team that nearly went undefeated in the Summit League last season.

SDSU (11-8, 7-2) used another quick start in the first half to defeat IPFW (9-11, 6-3), 83-62, Jan. 25 in front of 1,032 fans at Frost Arena.

Jennie Sunnarborg led the Jacks with another stellar night. The sophomore recorded 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting and accounted for 10 rebounds in 30 minutes – her second straight double-double.

“Hopefully that will be something she will continue,” said Jacks head coach Aaron Johnston. “It’ll be interesting to see how she reacts; she’ll probably get a little bit more attention from other teams.”

Other players have also stepped up. Senior Ketty Cornemann continued her effective conference play with 16 points and five assists without turning the ball over once. She continues to shoot well from behind the arc, knocking down two 3-pointers during the IPFW game and shooting 43 percent for the season.

IPFW was led by Chelsey Jackson with 22 points and Stefanie Rosado with 14 points but were crippled by 20 turnovers. The Mastodons also allowed the Jacks to shoot 62 percent from field-goal range and did not force a Jacks’ missed field-goal from inside the three-point line in the first half.

“We have to become more physical,” said IPFW coach Chris Paul. “I can live with 4-of-17 from 3s, but it’s tough to beat a team that shoots 62 percent.”

The Jacks, down 11-6 after the first time-out five minutes into the first half, took the lead they would not relinquish after a Cornemann 3-pointer put the Jacks up two just below the 11-minute mark. SDSU then held IPFW without a field goal for over six minutes, taking the lead by 13 with nearly four minutes left in the half.

“We have a tendency to go through stretches where we can’t buy a bucket,” said Paul. “We never really challenged after that point.”

The Jacks, who move to a tie with Oral Roberts for the conference lead with the victory, continued the momentum into the second half, growing a 20-point lead and showing determination to play 40 minutes after letting Oakland get within five points after facing a 20-point deficit on Jan. 23.

“That was our big emphasis for tonight,” said Sunnarborg. “Finish the full 40 minutes.”

SDSU will face its biggest conference test on the road on Jan. 30 in Tulsa, Okla., against an Oral Roberts team that beat the Jacks at Frost Arena on Jan 4. Oral Roberts has won its last four games against conference opponents by an average of 24 points en route to a 7-2 record at the halfway point of conference play.

“We’re going to have to handle the ball and handle that zone of theirs,” said Johnston. “Defensive transition is going to have to be better, and we’re going to have to make shots.”

The Jacks won every important statistical battle against both Oakland and IPFW, while creating large leads in the first half. With the emergence of Sunnarborg, SDSU appears like a team on the verge of playing their best basketball yet this season.

“They just come after you over and over and over again,” said Paul. “It’s very, very impressive to me.”