SDSU knocks off Central Michigan to cap first week of play


Abby Fullenkamp


Landon Dierks

The South Dakota State women’s basketball team recorded its second consecutive victory in a matchup of two top mid-major programs by knocking off Central Michigan on its home floor 80-71.

SDSU had to earn a hard-fought, back-and-forth victory over a CMU squad picked to win the Mid-American Conference in the preseason.

“We had a lot of toughness plays, resiliency plays tonight,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said in a postgame radio interview. “That’s what you want to see from a team. A win is great, but that kind of toughness I’m really proud of.”

The game was knotted at 37 points apiece at the midway point and would remain tight throughout the evening.

Senior guards Madison Guebert and Macy Miller each recorded double-digit scoring outputs by halftime.

Guebert notched 12 points to lead the Jackrabbits at the break and finished with a team-high 24 points, including six three-pointers. Miller added 23 points of her own in the victory.

CMU countered with a guard duo of its own with sophomore Micaela Kelly and senior Presley Hudson.

Both put up 13 points through the first two quarters. Hudson ended the night with 24 points to lead the Chippewas while Kelly finished with 17.

For the second consecutive game, Johnston’s halftime adjustments helped his team get out to a quick start to the second half.

“Home teams always make runs,” Johnston said. “… You want the visiting team to feel that pressure and the crowd and we had to play through that tonight.”

The Jacks extended their lead to as many as nine points in the third quarter, but CMU wouldn’t go away quietly.

CMU pulled within two points late, but the Jacks held on down the stretch to secure the victory and enter the second week of the season with a 2-1 record after facing three difficult tests in the first week.

“I think after our performance the last game on the road against Marquette we really needed to come out and be ready to go this time,” Guebert said. “We didn’t quite have that energy at Marquette and I thought we were full of tough plays tonight — especially down the stretch.”

The SDSU women’s basketball team will be in action again at 7 p.m. Thursday night in Frost Arena against the Creighton Bluejays.