Women’s basketball will practice against SMSU Mustangs

Zach Perry

Zach Perry

The SDSU women’s basketball team will play host to the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs (SMSU) on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. in exhibition action at Frost Arena.

The Jacks return 11 players from last year’s 23-7 campaign. The Jackrabbits will most likely rely on top scorers from last year’s team Maria Boever (6’1″, junior) and Jennifer Warkenthien (6’0″, senior) for offense in this game and throughout the season.

Sophomore guard/forward Kristin Rotert will be counted on for perimeter shooting. As a freshman last season, she averaged a little over two 3-pointers per game.

Southwest Minnesota State has played three games so far and went 2-1 over the weekend. The Mustangs earned wins over Delta State (Miss.) and American International (Mass.) The Mustangs felt short to Aiken (S.C.), 76-63.

The ‘Stangs will take a break from regular season play when it takes on SDSU, its only D-I opponent, on Nov. 9. This game will not count for either team.

The Mustangs have played the first three games of their season in the Disney Classic in Orlando, Fla. The Mustang’s first game was a 66-51 upset of Delta State (Miss.), who was ranked 12th in Division II.

The Mustangs will have no shortage of game experience as SMSU returns 11 players and four of five starters from last year’s 12-16 squad.

Senior forward Sara Leidall led SMSU in scoring and rebounding in 2007-08 and is the Mustangs’ biggest offensive threat.

In addition to Leidall, senior center Heidi Kimmes and senior guard Abby Oakland comprise the core of the Mustangs’ team.

SMSU added sophomore guard Heather Smith, a transfer from Liberty University, and Taylor Voss, a freshman guard. Both have contributed significant minutes in the Mustangs’ first two games.

SDSU will find it difficult to match up with the size of SMSU.

The Mustangs will most likely cycle four players who measure 6 feet 2 inches (Kimmes, Abby Kenealy, Annie Smith and Laura Kramer).

The tallest players on the Jackrabbits’ roster are freshmen Cala Westergard (center, 6’3″) and Jennie Sunnarborg (forward, 6’2″).

This practice game could be the perfect time to have the newcomers see some time and experience valuable minutes.

SDSU will most likely seek to exploit SMSU using an up-tempo style and perimeter shooting. Last season, the Jacks attempted 625 3-pointers. SDSU averaged 7.7 3-point baskets per game last year.

The Jacks are 88-29 overall in their last four seasons.

In that span, the Jacks have carried a record of 47-4 at home. The Jacks will look to continue their home dominance against the visiting Mustangs.

SDSU is projected by ESPN to win the Summit League championship this year. The Mustangs were picked to finish ninth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

The game will be the final tune-up for SDSU’s women before the start of the regular season on Nov. 14 at Missouri in Columbia.