Jackrabbits overcome early struggles to defeat Florida Gulf Coast

Landon Dierks

A slow start didn’t stop the Jackrabbit women’s basketball team from toppling Florida Gulf Coast 80-62 and avenging last season’s loss to the Eagles on Friday night at Frost Arena.

The win over an Eagles squad ranked eighth in the www.CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll was a much-needed one amidst a tough three-game schedule over the first week of the season.

“It was huge,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “Every road game is going to be a challenge … So, when we get the chance to play at home we have to take advantage of it. They’re not going to be easy home games though.”

SDSU (ranked second in the mid-major poll) fell 91-52 to No. 19 Marquette Tuesday, Nov. 6, and will now travel to face mid-major power Central Michigan (ranked third in the mid-major poll) on Monday, Nov. 12.

Friday night started a bit like the Marquette game earlier in the week, but this time the Jacks responded.

After falling behind by as many as 12 midway through the first quarter, the Jackrabbits would storm back and tie the game at 35.

The comeback did not stop there.

SDSU went on a 21-4 run to start the third quarter and would outscore the Eagles 44-25 in the second half to come away with a comfortable victory.

It started on the defensive end of the court for the Jacks tonight. After FGCU took a 20-8 lead at the 4:26 mark of the first quarter, SDSU did not allow a field goal for the rest of the quarter.

The Jackrabbits would hold the Eagles below 33 percent shooting for the remainder of the game.

“I think we came out a little slow on defense in the first quarter,” redshirt junior forward Tagyn Larson said. “But after that, I think we banded together as a team and decided we’re going to get this win.”

Senior guard Macy Miller led the Jackrabbits with 25 points, including 15 in the second half, and moved into third place on the all-time scoring list for SDSU.

“She’s outstanding … really just a remarkable player,” FGCU head coach Karl Smesko said of Miller.

Tagyn Larson, Myah Selland and Madison Guebert also scored in double figures for the Jackrabbits.

“Obviously Macy is a phenomenal player,” Larson said. “But we have so many other assets to our team that make us pretty deadly, so (the balanced effort) is awesome.”

Johnston hopes his team remembers this game and the lessons it taught moving forward.

“You can get yourself back. You can get yourself going. You can make some plays when you need to,” he said. “We’re going to need that because we’ll have some tough games.”

The Jacks will face off with Central Michigan at 7 p.m, Monday, Nov. 12 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.