Jackrabbits prevail in Summit League opener

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

One point. One turnover.

This was SDSU’s women’s basketball outcome in the first four minutes of the first game in the 2008-09 Summit League Conference.

The Jacks battled back and beat the Ladies of Centenary (La.) College 63-41 at Frost Arena on Dec. 4. SDSU overcame late struggles to beat last year’s worst team in the Summit League with ease.

The win was SDSU’s first game after spending Thanksgiving break in Cancun to play top-caliber talent in Montana, Illinois and Maryland.

“It was a win, yes, but the slow start was disappointing,” said Laurie Melum SDSU’s associate head coach. “We just weren’t the aggressive team tonight.”

Centenary played loose defense, which gave SDSU problems scoring.

The Jacks were led by Jenn Warkenthien with 11 points and Kristin Rotert with 10 points. The Jacks shot a low 32 percent from the field.

“We were standing around more than usual, and once we started to move, we got more open looks,” said forward Ketty Cornemann.

Having the best team, according to the Summit League preseason poll, beat the worst team to open the Summit League may have not been the biggest news of the day.

The basketball game was played the entire game with a men’s ball.

SDSU (8-1, 2-0) players alerted the officials about the ball in the second half, but the Summit League crew ruled that it was too late in the game to switch.

Both Centenary (1-7 overall, 0-2 Summit) head coach Steve Curtis and Jackrabbit head coach Aaron Johnston was not pleased with the way the game was called. Johnston received a technical foul for “running at an official,” according to one referee.

Johnston and players would not comment on the referees outside of the wrong ball being used.

The Ladies were led by Bethany Joseph with nine points and Anne Farrell with eight points. Farrell had 10 rebounds in the Ladies’ second of three road games in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

Curtis, seeing SDSU for the second year in a row, knew SDSU would be a challenge for his team.

“They’re the best team in the league, but I think we can play with them,” said the second-year head coach.

“I told my guys’ if we play 40 minutes, instead of 20, we’re right in this game.”

The Jacks were without two starting players Maria Boever (who should be back soon) and Macie Michelson, who should be back in the action closer to Christmas.

Neither Jackrabbit players nor coaches accepted the excuse for the sloppy play.

“We have a lot of quality players, which we can rely on,” said Melum.

Only one SDSU player did not score in the Summit League Conference opener.