Women score 114 in win over Western Illinois

Cooper Kanthak, Reporter

The SDSU Women’s Basketball team was firing on all cylinders last weekend at Frost Arena, picking up double-digit victories against conference opponents St. Thomas and Western Illinois.

The Jacks have now won nine of their last 10 games as they now improve to 12-8 overall this season and 8-1 in the Summit League.

Against the Tommies on Thursday, the Jacks had a red-hot shooting night from beyond the arc, going 10-for-14 shooting 71% from three on their way to an 88-47 win. This was a new single-game record for the program since 2004.

Myah Selland and Tylee Irwin led the team in scoring with 16 points apiece. Haleigh Timmer chipped in 11 off of the bench along with Kallie Theisen adding nine points.

SDSU tallied 22 assists, tying a season-high. Selland led with eight assists while Paige Meyer dished out four dimes as well.

The Jacks forced 11 steals and 21 total turnovers that turned into 23 points. Theisen and Irwin led the way with two apiece while seven more players tallied one.

After an impressive 41-point win Thursday, the Jacks returned to action Saturday against Western Illinois, walking away with a 114-50 blowout win.

In that game, all five of SDSU’s starters scored in double figures, with Meyer leading the team with 19. Paiton Burckhard (15), Irwin (14), Tori Nelson (13) and Myah Selland (12) all joined Meyer scoring double digits.

“I think it was a really fun game,” Irwin said. “I think overall everyone who got on the court played with confidence. I thought we played really hard, and it is always fun when you can come up with a big win like that.”

The Jackrabbits shot well over 60% from the field while Western Illinois shot just 28% for the game. They dominated inside the paint, scoring 58 points in the paint while only giving up 14. The Jacks connected on 11 3-pointers and shot 13-13 from the free-throw line.

SDSU forced 20 Leatherneck turnovers, which helped them get out on the fast break for easy baskets, scoring 31 points off of turnovers. Danni Nichols, who averages 17.7 ppg, was allowed only seven.

Meyer talked about how the defense stepped up during the game.

“We knew that they liked to run in transition, so we knew we had to slow them down,” Meyer said. “We focused on closing out, staying in front of our defenders and boxing out and finishing the play.”

The Jacks outrebounded Western Illinois 45 to 21 and were led by Tori Nelson and Selland with seven apiece.

Coach Aaron Johnston credited the Jackrabbits’ ability to move the ball. 

“I would say that our best quality on offense is our balance,” Johnston said. “We have some elite players that can go out and create shots when they want to, but they aren’t forcing anything. This team has great balance and shares the ball well with our spacing being so much better.”

The Jackrabbits had 26 assists on 45 made field goals.

They got contributions from every player as everyone scored in the game ,and Johnston didn’t feel like there was a drop-off when the bench came in. 

“It was fun to see everyone go out there and play well,” he said.

This weekend capped off a two-game home win streak as SDSU defeated St. Thomas last Thursday 88-47.

The Jacks’ next two games will be in Grand Forks, North Dakota as they take on UND on Thursday and NDSU in Fargo on Saturday.