The Collegian

Women Jackrabbits dominate in first Summit League game

Photo+by%3A+Miranda+Sampson
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Women Jackrabbits dominate in first Summit League game

Photo by: Miranda Sampson

Photo by: Miranda Sampson

Photo by: Miranda Sampson

Photo by: Miranda Sampson

Landon Dierks, Sports Reporter

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If there were any questions whether South Dakota State women’s basketball could carry its momentum from the regular season into the Summit League Tournament, they were dispelled early Saturday afternoon.

SDSU dominated Purdue Fort Wayne 88-50 in the quarterfinal round, extending its win streak to 14 games ahead of Monday’s semifinal action.

Seniors Macy Miller and Madison Guebert were the stars of the show once again. Miller scored 24 points, while Guebert had 19.

“Macy was in a pretty good rhythm there in the first quarter and really carried us,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “As the game went on we got some good balance from other players too. This was a good win to start the tournament.”

The “good win” Johnston referred to started as soon as the ball was tipped.

It took only seven seconds for the Jackrabbits to score their first points, a 3-pointer from sophomore Myah Selland, who returned to the starting lineup after missing the regular season finale with a foot injury. She finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

“[Selland] made some good plays,” Johnston said. “I thought she played well and she moved well and looked healthy so that was good to see.”

A layup by PFW’s Jaelencia Williams brought the Mastodons within four points, but a 17-2 run to end the first quarter had SDSU up 28-9 and the rout was officially on.

“We talked all week about setting the tone right when we got out there and I thought we did a good job of that,” Guebert said.

Miller posted 10 of her points in the opening period, outpacing the ‘Dons by herself. Her exceptional performance carried into the second quarter, where she added eight more points before halftime. Behind Miller, SDSU built the lead to 47-21 heading into the locker room.

While she only scored six points after halftime, Miller finished the day 10-of-11 from the field.

“She’s been performing like that all year,” PFW head coach Niecee Nelson said about Miller. “We knew, come tournament time, they step it up to a whole new level. Holding the Player of the Year title, she knows what this means. Coming out and making a statement right away, we knew what to expect from her.”

SDSU’s Madison Guebert picked up where Miller left off in the second half, sinking three 3-pointers and scoring 13 of her points in the final 20 minutes.

PFW performed better in the third quarter, matching SDSU’s 17 points to keep the lead steady at 26, but the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt.

“Once we calmed down and were able to get some more defensive intensity, we were able to score the ball more, but it came down to transition buckets and a lot of missed opportunities,” Nelson said.

If the 26-point lead wasn’t enough, the Jacks still had one more run in them to push the game further out of reach. In front of a pro-Jackrabbit crowd, SDSU went on an 18-2 run to stretch the lead to 42 points—the biggest lead of the game.

Johnston then emptied his bench and rode out the final four-plus minutes.

Junior Hannah Albrecht led the ‘Dons with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting, but PFW could find much offensive consistency, as SDSU held them to 19-of-56 shooting for the game.

The Jacks can now turn their focus to the semifinal round where they await the winner of Sunday’s game between Oral Roberts and Western Illinois at 12 p.m. Monday, March 11.

“I don’t know that [the extra day] is always a huge advantage,” Johnston said. “… But it’s nice to mentally regroup a little bit, get your emotions back up. I think that part helps.”

 

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