WBB: Omaha upsets top-seeded Jackrabbits in quarterfinal

Evan Patzwald, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State women’s basketball team saw their 19-game win streak come to an end as they were stunned by Omaha in their quarterfinal matchup of the Summit League Tournament 52-40.

The Jackrabbits (21-3, 14-0) shot 22% from the floor and scored a season-low 40 points overall in the loss.

“Credit to Omaha’s defense,” said senior Tylee Irwin postgame. “They definitely had a really good plan and executed it very well. It was uncharacteristic for us but once we didn’t see those shots falling, we weren’t able to get back into our system.”

This was the first time SDSU had lost in the Summit League Tournament quarterfinals. The tournament was also held at a different venue for this season. It was held at the Sanford Pentagon with only close family in attendance.

“It was different in regard to a Summit League Tournament but compared to the rest of the games this season it wasn’t very noticeable,” said Irwin.

Irwin and Paiton Burkhard each scored 10 points shooting a combined 7-for-25 on field goals. The rest of the team only shot 6-for-33 on field goals.

“They had a very good defensive plan and made things hard for us,” coach Aaron Johnston said postgame. “Their size really caused us a lot of problems as well.  We played so well in the season and this one was a clunker.”

This was Tori Nelson’s first game back since suffering an injury a few weeks ago against North Dakota State. She only finished with two points and did not make a field goal in 13 minutes on the court.

“I’m just really proud of how hard Tori worked to get back in the lineup,” Johnston said. Certainly, it wasn’t the type of game she wanted to play, but it’s a huge victory that she even put herself in the position to be on the floor.”

For Omaha (6-12, 4-8), they had more than twice as many points in the paint as the Jackrabbits as they had 26 compared to SDSU’s 12.

“They were really aggressive,” Burkhard said. “It’s hard to play against the team that’s really aggressive when you’re not the team making the shots all the time.”

Josie Filer led the Mavericks with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Mariah Murdie pitched in nine points and five rebounds.

The Jackrabbits now will have to wait to hear their name called to see if they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The bracket will be released on Monday, March 15 at 7 p.m. ET.