Women share conference lead after weekend win

Lynn Stoneburner

Lynn Stoneburner

Off on a rocky road trip last weekend, the South Dakota State University women’s basketball team experienced the highs and lows that will be a part of most long seasons.

At Omaha on Friday, the Jacks were upset by the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, in overtime, 80-77. Best efforts fell just short, marking the second overtime loss this year for SDSU.

The women came back strong on Saturday night in Greeley, Colorado, “rebounding” in a mountainous road victory over the University of Northern Colorado. The Jacks prevailed by 17, in the 84-67 win. Brenda Davis led the scoring for SDSU, splitting the nets for 19 points. Melissa Pater and Shannon Schlagel each added 15 points. Pater posted a double-double, pulling down 10 boards.

“We came out tough, got up before the second half and kept the momentum going for a big win in Colorado,” said freshman Shannon Schlagel.

Over the holiday break, SDSU posted three wins, besting Morningside 90-83 in Sioux City, and returning home to top St. Cloud State 89-74, and overpower MSU-Mankato 86-49 at Frost Arena.

“Since we had a poor first half against St. Cloud, Coach Johnston told us we needed to put two halves together against Mankato, and we did just that,” said Schlagel.

The sole defeat suffered by the Jacks over the holidays was an overtime loss to USD in Vermillion, 74-67. Since then, SDSU has hosted Augustana, edging the Vikings 71-68 on January 12.

With the conference season now half complete, SDSU is tied for top spot in the North Central Conference, with a 6-3 NCC record (16-4 overall). Sharing the conference lead with the Jacks in a four-way tie are UND, NDSU and USD.

The Jackrabbits return to home action at Frost Arena this weekend, hosting the USD Coyotes on Friday and Morningside Saturday. Tip off for each game is 6 p.m.