The South Dakota State Women’s Basketball Team returned home to Frost Arena to face the Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne Mastodons on Thursday Jan. 19. The Jackrabbits defeated the Mastodons, 74-53.
The Jacks jumped out to an early lead, scoring the first six points of the game. The two teams went back and forth during the first half, but at the end of the half, Ashlea Muckenhirn hit a jumper to put the Jacks up by seven, 32-25 at halftime. The lead could have been bigger at halftime for the Jacks, but turnovers and poor shooting plagued the Jacks during the first half. The Jacks shot 24 percent from the field, and 19 percent from the three-point line, while committing 11 turnovers. The Mastodons also committed 11 turnovers, but shot 35 percent from the field and 19 percent from the three-point line. The difference for the Jacks was the amount of free throws they shot compared to the Mastodons. Shooting eight free throws, Megan Vogel alone shot more free throws than the IPFW squad did in the first half. The Jacks made 14 of 17 free throws in the first half, while the Mastodons made four of six.
The Mastodons came out strong in the second half, scoring the first seven points of the half to tie the game. Johnna Lewis-Carlisle scored two quick baskets to spark the Mastodons’ run. Carlisle finished the game with 17 points, 13 of them in the second half. She was the Mastodons leading scorer.
The two teams traded baskets, and the Mastodons took their one and only lead during the game at 38-37. After falling behind, the Jacks rallied and took control of the game, outscoring the Mastodons 37-15 during the final 15 minutes of the game. Hitting five three pointers in the second half, Heather Sieler led the way for the Jacks. Seiler finished as the high scorer for the game with 18 points.
The Jacks shot the ball better in the second half, hitting 48 percent of their field goals and 57 percent of their three pointers. Overall, the Jacks shot 35 percent from the floor and 40 percent from the three-point line on the game. Vogel added 16 points for the Jacks, and Andrea Verdegan contributed 11 points.
The Jacks out-rebounded the Mastodons 49-35, including 18 offensive rebounds. Jennifer Warkenthien led all players with 12 rebounds.
Head Coach Aaron Johnston was pleased with how the defense played.
“I thought defensively we played a solid whole game,” he said.
Johnston did not feel the offense played well the whole game. He said the offense was much better in the second half than the first.
“Offensively, it was two completely different halves. The second half we were much more aggressive,” he said.
Johnston said the team was more poised in the second half. Once they started hitting a few shots, they got some momentum, which is important for this team. Johnston said, “Our team, the way we play, is all about momentum.”
The Jacks took on Brown Providence on Sunday afternoon and lost 72-64. Sieler led the Jacks in scoring again, with 15 points. Brown shot 72 percent in the first half, but SDSU’s defense held them to only 41 percent in the second half. The Jacks could not overcome their 16-point halftime deficit.
The loss dropped the Jacks’ record to 10-8. The next game for the ‘Rabbits is Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in Frost Arena against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.