South Dakota Showdown: Jacks face Coyotes in Vermillion


Joclyn Haven

Guard Paige Meyer passes the ball in the Jacks’ 81-58 win over Western Illinois Jan. 28 at Frost Arena. Meyer had 12 points and four assists in the win.

Brayden Byers, Sports Reporter

After extending their win streak to 13 games, the Jackrabbit women’s basketball team will wrap up their three-game road swing this Saturday against rival USD.

South Dakota State also took down North Dakota to start off the road trip 75-57. The Jacks only led by four at halftime but scored 25 in the third to push past the Fighting Hawks to stay unbeaten in conference play. Haleigh Timmer put up 16 points to lead SDSU, while Paiton Burckhard finished with 14 and Myah Selland with nine.

Selland needed only 10 points heading into their next matchup with North Dakota State to reach the 2,000-point mark.

Five SDSU student athletes scored in double figures in the 82-54 win over NDSU. Timmer led all players with 16 points, while Paige Meyer and Selland each had 15 and Tori Nelson totaling 12. The Jacks held the Bison to only three points in the second period after giving up 23 in the first.

“I thought our team played really tough,” coach Aaron Johnson said. “They were really focused and really did well I thought with our offensive and defense execution.”

Selland would join Macy Miller as the only other Jackrabbit to achieve the 2K point milestone while becoming only the fourth between the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

“That’s just a remarkable accomplishment, and it’s not surprising considering her talent and her ability and just how hard she works.” Johnston said of Selland.

South Dakota State (20-5, 13-0 Summit League) has now won 26 straight regular season conference games. They have also eclipsed 20 wins in a season for the 12th year in a row and the 17th time in the Division I era.

The Jacks now have a week to prepare for another rival in the USD Coyotes. This will be the first of two games featuring the Jackrabbits and the Yotes on Saturday as part of the South Dakota Showdown Series.

The two teams matched up earlier this year at Frost Arena in a game where the Jacks shot lights out, connecting on 17 3-pointers in the game. 

In total, the yellow and blue scored 118 points while only allowing 59 from USD.

“You just don’t do that very often, on the flip side, having the other team not shoot it as well as they typically do because they are an elite shooting team too,” Johnston said.

The Coyotes (11-13, 7-6) are currently fourth in the conference behind NDSU, Oral Roberts and SDSU. They sit an even six games behind the Jacks as well as 1.5 games behind the other two.

Grace Larkins leads the way averaging close to 18 points per game while shooting 41% from the field. She is also dishing the ball well, getting almost five assists a contest.

“[Larkins] is really aggressive for one,” Johnston said of the sophomore guard. “Every team needs different players to do different things and right now they need her to do a lot. And she is doing a lot.”

Madison Grange is also averaging double-digits at 11 per game, shooting 56% from the field and 61% from 3-point range. Carley Duffney is right behind with 9.8 points along with 20 minutes per game.

For SDSU, junior forward Kallie Theisen has been a key piece coming off the bench, averaging six points, but making her presence known in the paint.

“She’s one of the better defensive post players I think we really have ever had.” Johnston said of the Plymouth, Minnesota native. “Such a good rebounder, and she is able to guard post players a lot of times just one on one.”

This will be the 98th meeting between these two programs with SDSU leading the way on a 62-35 record.

The women’s game will tip at 1 p.m. while the men will begin at 6 p.m. in Brookings. Both will be televised on Midco Sports Network as well as streamed on Midco Sports Plus.