Lady Jacks claim first national title

Lynn Stoneburner

Lynn Stoneburner

The smile still rests on the face of the SDSU campus.

It is a contagious smile. It is the smile of destiny.

It was a smile enhanced when Gov. Mike Rounds proclaimed there would be no classes Monday.

It was a smile broadened when the raucous crowd at Frost Arena on Sunday were introduced to their first women’s basketball national championship.

It was a smile that crossed everyone’s face when head coach Aaron Johnston stepped to the microphone.

“It was an amazing year for us,” he said.

That amazing year hit its apex Saturday night with SDSU’s 65-50 win over Northern Kentucky

Northern Kentucky entered the game 26-7, looking for their second title in four years.

But senior, Melissa Pater was was also looking for a title of her own.

Pater had 22 points and 11 rebounds in her last game, cementing her place as tournament’s Most Valuable Player- all with a smile on her face.

But then again, leading for the entire championship game can keep a smile on one’s face.

The Jacks started fast out of the gate against Northern Kentucky, scoring the first six points.

Amy Mobley hit a three-pointer for the Norse, bringing the score to 6-3. That was the closest Northern Kentucky got.

The Jacks got into their up-tempo style using it to gain the crowd momentum.

Accumulating a 32-17 halftime lead after a Cizek three-pointer in the final seconds of the half, the Lady Jacks wanted to keep those smiles.

“We kew that if we just continued the way we had started the game and kept playing good defense we’d be fine,” sophomore guard Stephanie Bolden said.

The teams traded baskets for the majority of the second half of the physical game, but the Jacks kept the pressure on.

Pater played strong throughout the match, scoring 10 points in the second half.

Davis was 6-of-7 from the free throw line in the final minutes to finalize the victory.

Rebounding was a key factor in the game. The Jacks won the battle of the boards 47-35.

SDSU forced 21 turnovers from the Norse.

Both teams struggled offensively. SDSU shot 34.5 percent, while Northern Kentucky, who ended the season 26-8, hit 34 percent.

Peggy Gordon Elliot Miller was on hand to congratulate the team Sunday as well.

Miller emphasized the pride the university holds for it to have a championship team.

“What a pleasure it is to be number one,” Miller said.

No surprise-she said it with a smile.

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#1.887124:2584329346.jpg:Pater B&W.jpg::Eric Landwehr/University Relations#1.887123:3705255042.jpg:celebratecolor.jpg:The Lady Jackrabbits? Basketball Team celebrate their national championship win over Northern Kentucky, 65-50, Saturday evening in St. Joseph?s, Missouri. :Eric Landwehr/University Relations