Women split games at home

Faith Moldan

Faith Moldan

What a difference one day can make.

Saturday night’s women’s basketball game against North Dakota State University packed 4,739 Jackrabbit fans into Frost Arena. The Lady Jacks were back in action at home for the first time since Dec. 21 when they beat Ferris State (Mich.).

NDSU came into the game undefeated at 17-0 and left 18-0 after their 78-68 victory.

“NDSU is undefeated for a reason,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “This is the first time in four years that we’ve been out rebounded by NDSU.”

At halftime, SDSU was down by three but the Jacks surrendered 21 offensive rebounds to the Bison, which along with poor free throw shooting, was the difference in the game, Johnston said. NDSU had an overall 80 percent free-throw rate compared to SDSU’s 69.4 percent .

SDSU was successful going inside and attacking NDSU’s bigger players, causing four Bison to foul out of the game. NDSU outscored the Jacks 44-37 in the second half.

The Jackrabbit’s numerous road games may be to blame for Saturday’s loss.

“We’ve played extremely well on the road against tough opponents like Oklahoma State and Alabama, but we’re just mentally tired,” Johnston said, “The girls are doing everything they can.”

Leading all scorers was Megan Vogel with 26, a career high. The only other Jackrabbit in double figures was Shannon Schlagel with 18, while Sarita DeBoer had 8, Andrea Verdegan 7, Christina Gilbert 6 and Heather Sieler 3.

The game Sunday afternoon pitted SDSU against Briar Cliff (Iowa) in a somewhat more laid back atmosphere than the previous night.

Sieler started the game with two baskets and an assist to Stephanie Bolden, who sank two three-point shots in the first five minutes. DeBoer made two free throws to put the Jacks up 11-0. They kept the Chargers scoreless until Betsy Graf made a layup with 12:26 left in the first half.

The aggressiveness and hot shooting continued as the Jacks were up 39-7 headed into the locker room at halftime.

After the half, the Chargers improved their shooting by leaps and bounds, shooting .120 in the first half to .429 in the second. The large lead that the Jacks had created in the first half was insurmountable for Briar Cliff, as SDSU came away with the 75-37 victory at the end.

Once again the Jacks spread the scoring around with four players in double figures. Schlagel scored 14; DeBoer 15, Sieler 11 and Gilbert contributed 13 coming off the bench. Sarah Meckley and Courtney Grimsrud each had four points from the bench as well.

The huge difference between the NDSU and Briar Cliff games is due to the varied level of opponents and style of play, Johnston said.

“I would have been happier if we were 2-0 this weekend,” Johnston said.

Despite only coming away with one win, the women’s team also recorded two milestones over the weekend. Schlagel became the new all-time scoring leader during Saturday’s game with 1,750 points. She passed Melissa Pater, who had previously held the record with 1,747.

“Shannon still has eight games left,” Johnston said, “She’ll be able to put some space between her and the others on the list.”

Johnston commented that Schlagel is not only an impact player but also an impact person who does a lot for the community and fans.

The win on Sunday was the 100th for the four seniors on the team, Schlagel, DeBoer, Brooke Dickmeyer and Stephanie Bolden.

“One hundred wins says a lot about our program,” Johnston said, “That means that they had to have 25 wins a year.”

The Lady Jacks take a break this week, and will return to play Jan. 29 in Fort Wayne, Ind. against Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) at 12 p.m. central time.

#1.885484:3178619891.jpg:wbballmike1.jpg:Megan Vogel, number 32, moves past an NDSU defender to square up to the basket.: