SDSU blows past Westerwinds

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

The game that pitted co-leaders in the Summit League against each other was supposed to be a heavy-weight bout, with two teams going at it for 40 minutes. The SDSU women ignored the hype and out-shot, out-rebounded and out-played Western Illinois 85-60 at the 36th Annual Pork Classic.

The Jacks never trailed in this Summit League game, and the only tie of the game was 2-2, although five minutes into the game, it looked as those it would be a closely contested game as the score was 5-4.

At the 14:33-minute mark, a charged up freshman-Macie Michelson-cashed in the first of her two consecutive three-pointers. Her second made the lead 11-4. Michelson came off the bench and scored 14 points in 19 minutes of action. She gave credit for the victory to preparation.

“We came out strong; it was for number one in conference. We play hard and we wanted [it] more than them,” said Michelson.

The Jackrabbit freshmen were not the only ones who were sinking their shots. Stacie Oistad made a three-poimter at the end of the first half which caused Frost Arena to erupt with noise to levels that equaled to the noise at the Women’s National Invitational Tournament last year. The Jacks shot 5-9 from behind the arc, while WIU shot 0-4 for three-pointers.

In the second half 48 percent of the Jacks’ scoring came from three-pointers (24 out of 50). The Jacks shot 60 percent (13-20) from three-point land. They out-scored the Western Winds by 31 points (42-9) from behind the arc.

WIU was led by Gina Huglier with 11; Katy Clark scored 11 points, and Nicole Myers scored 10. Western Illinois made 19 free throws out of 22 attempts.

The Jacks were led by Andrea Verdegan (who went 5-5 from behind the arc) and Maria Boever with 17 points each. Kristin Rotert scored 10 points along with Michelson (14).

With the win, the Jackrabbits moved into sole possession of first place in the Summit League, (17-6, 10-2 in conference), and WIU dropped to second place (11-12, 9-3). The Jacks now control their destiny to win the conference. While the Jacks are not eligible for the NCAA tournament, if they win the regular season crown, they can earn back-to-back births in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. Based on SDSU’s confidence level, earning a conference regular season championship is a strong possibility.

“Our depth is really paying dividends right now, not just in individual games, but there’s no team in the League that’s been able to play their top players as few minutes as we have,” said head coach Aaron Johnston. “I think it’s starting to show up now in some games that it’s been a positive for us.”

The Jacks will face UMKC at Kansas City,Mo. on Feb.16 at 4 p.m. and Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah on Feb.18 at 7 p.m..

#1.882828:3952165748.jpg:wbballvsWIU_SBweb.jpg:SDSU sophomore forward Maria Boever heads to the basket against WIU defender #25 Nicole Myers late in the first half of the game on Feb. 9. Maria went 7-8 and scored 17 points against WIU.:Stephen Brua