Last year, the SDSU women’s basketball team advanced to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for the first time. The women received a first round bye and defeated Illinois State 61-48 in the second round followed by a win against Indiana 60-53 in the third round. The Lady Jackrabbits met their match when they faced eventual WNIT champion Wyoming in the quarterfinals, losing 70-59.
Student fans gathered outside of Frost Arena more than five hours before the Illinois State game to try and get the best seats possible. Some students played Frisbee outside during the wait, while others spread blankets out on the ground and were playing cards.
When the doors opened, the fans stormed the Frost, running past the ticket takers to the stands.
The atmosphere in Frost Arena was intense as Jackrabbits of all ages cheered the women on to victory. “It was fun to have the whole student body band together and give up most of their Saturday to support the Jacks,” SDSU sophomore Laurel Hamilton said. The Jackrabbits had earned their ticket to the third round.
For the third round game, tickets sold out within the first day for the Jackrabbits match up with Indiana.
Fans again waited outside for several hours before the Frost doors opened to get the best view of the action. Some students bounced a bouncy ball around to waste time.
KDLT even showed up to get some footage of the fans standing around waiting for the game.
The fans shouted their support for their team and some even got interviewed.
The Hoosiers coach Felisha Legette-Jack even came out of the Frost to talk to fans before the game to see how SDSU could get so much support for their women’s basketball team. She said that she really liked how so many people came out to support their team.
The atmosphere inside Frost was even more intense when the Jacks took on Indiana. The Hoosiers were coming off a second round 74-71 victory over Iona and looking to move into the quarterfinals.
“Waiting outside for the game all afternoon was kind of long, and then we got in. It was a mad rush, but when the players started coming into the arena, my heart just started pounding, the whole place was just mad and rocking, and it was just different from any game I’d ever been to all season,” junior John Enke said.
The Jackrabbits were able to defeat Indiana 60-53, behind strong play from former SDSU standout Megan Vogel. The Jacks were set to face Wyoming in the quarterfinals.
Wyoming won the bid to host the quarterfinal game against SDSU. The game wasn’t televised so that left many Jackrabbit fans scrambling to purchase a copy of the game online or to go to a local church that decided to show the game for free to whoever wanted to come.
The Wyoming Cowboys got an early lead and were able to defeat the Jacks 70-59 in quarterfinal play. The Cowboys went on to win the WNIT by defeating Wisconsin 72-56 in the championship game.