Jackrabbits roll on in WNIT

Drake visits Frost Arena on Thursday for third-round matchup


Miranda Sampson, GoJacks.com

SDSU’s Haley Greer looks for an open teammate as Minnesota’s Sara Scalia plays defense in a Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Jackrabbits earned a bid to the WNIT and will face Drake in the third round after wins in the first two rounds.

Evan Patzwald, Assistant Sports Editor (He/Him)

The SDSU women’s basketball team has impressed early on in its postseason run and they hope to continue that success when they tip-off against Drake Thursday night at Frost Arena. 

After not being selected for the NCAA Tournament last week, the Jackrabbit women received an automatic bid into the Women’s National Invitation Tournament or WNIT. The tournament consists of 64 teams, similar to the NCAA Tournament.

Their first game in the tournament was a dominating 87-57 victory over Ohio last Thursday at Frost Arena. Freshman Haleigh Timmer led the way for the Jacks, finishing with a career-high 24 points, beating her previous career-best by 10 points. 

The Jackrabbits led the game from start to finish and advanced to the second round of the tournament. Five total players scored in double figures for SDSU, with Paiton Burckhard chipping in 16, Tori Nelson with 15 and Kallie Theisen and Myah Selland with 10 apiece.

“We get to play basketball in March, you can’t be upset about that,” Selland said after the victory about getting the postseason opportunity. “We’re excited to be in this tournament and keep playing basketball as long as we can.”

Next up, a date with the Minnesota Gophers from the Big Ten Conference Sunday. Both teams were scoring back-and-forth in the first half as the Jacks took a mere three-point lead into halftime. Then in the third quarter, SDSU outscored Minnesota 26-10 and pulled away with a 78-57 victory. The Jacks moved to 6-1 all-time against the Gophers following the win. 

“I think we got more comfortable in our plan and executed better in the second half,” Selland said after the win. “We got things going and shots started falling.”

Timmer continued her spectacular tournament play, notching her second consecutive 20-point game after not having any all season. She finished with 22 on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. Selland followed with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Tylee Irwin had 13 points.

“I think playing off my teammates and getting in the flow of the game and not trying to force anything has let me get more confidence as the year’s gone on,” Timmer said.

Now the Jacks advance to the third round and are among the final 16 teams. They are set to face off against Drake Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Frost Arena. The game will be broadcast on Midco Sports, and all students get in free by scanning their student ID’s courtesy of the SDSU President’s Office. 

Drake beat Missouri in the first round of the tournament and Northern Iowa in the second. The Bulldogs got a little Summit League action early in the year when they played USD Nov. 15. They lost 61-46. 

The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to the quarterfinals and will play the winner of Alabama and Houston. 

“None of us want this season to end, we want to keep playing for each other and playing for as long as we can,” Selland said.