Jackrabbit women run through Mastadons

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

The SDSU women’s team started the game with a 15-2 run and the second half on a 20-4 run; maybe that’s how you start after all.

The Jacks (21-2, 10-1) used the strengths of their starts to down IPFW 83-56 on Feb. 2 at Frost Arena. After their hot starts, the Jacks fought off complacency and allowed IPFW to play even for much of the game.

“We’ve got to learn not to let down,” Jacks point guard Macie Michelson said. “It’s easy to get complacent, but we’ve got to continue to work through it and continue to play well.”

It was a match-up between the first-place team in the Jacks and the last-place team in the Mastodons, and it showed. SDSU scored the first 12 points of the game, while IPFW committed four turnovers before they even got a shot off.

The second-half start was more of the same. Stacie Oistad and Jill Young hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Jackrabbit lead to 25, the closest it got the rest of the game.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever been around a team that goes on those types of runs every game,” IPFW head coach Chris Paul said. “We told the kids before, ‘You cannot allow them to do that.’ Early on, I think we had some of our kids scared.”

Jennifer Warkenthien scored 19 in the first half, including nine straight midway through the half. Warkenthien finished with 26 points and nine rebounds, the fifth time in the last six games she has broken 20 points. Paul called the Willow Lake native the best player in the conference.

“I think overall the level that our team is playing at has helped that,” Warkenthien said. “I don’t think it’s anything I’ve done personally.”

Michelson and Maria Boever, both starters to begin the season, were inserted back into the starting lineup for the Oakland game after both had missed considerable time for various reasons this year.

In the end, a team known for struggling early in the game and then pouring it on finally reversed that trend, even if it was for only one game.

“I think the start was really big; I think the last couple of games we’ve started off well,” Jacks head coach Aaron Johnston said. “I think our natural style offensively is to be a little more up-tempo. I think having Macie at the point gives us that.”

The Jacks return to action on Feb. 7 when they travel to Western Illinois, and then they take on IUPUI on Feb. 9 in Indianapolis. Tip-off for the Western Illinois game is slated for 4:30 p.m., while the IUPUI game begins at 6 p.m.