Jackrabbits dismantle Creighton, win third straight

MIRANDA+SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

MIRANDA SAMPSON

Landon Dierks

The South Dakota State women’s basketball team got off to a hot start against Creighton and didn’t look back on its way to a 74-48 win Thursday night in Frost Arena.

Not even a 23-point performance from Creighton’s Audrey Faber could stop the Jackrabbits from recording their third consecutive victory after falling in the season-opener.

“If you look at this four-game stretch, to be 3-1, I suppose we could be better but at the same point, we’ve come a long way,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “I think we’ve played some good basketball so I’m really proud of where we are to start the year.”

The Jacks started off the game on an 11-0 run and added another 8-0 in the first quarter, but the Bluejays responded to both spurts, including posting a 12-2 run of their own, and trailed 21-15 after 10 minutes.

While Creighton fell flat in the second quarter, SDSU continued to find success.

The Jacks shot better than 65 percent from the field in the first half compared to just 29 percent for Creighton which helped carry the home team into the locker room with a 39-23 lead.

“I’m really proud of my team,” senior guard Macy Miller said. “I thought we did so well on defense — closing gaps and making them take tough shots — and we rebounded really well.”

Faber, Creighton’s star forward, did everything she could to keep the Bluejays in the game early.

“Audrey was our only offense in the first half,” Creighton head coach Jim Flanery said.

The 6-foot-2-inch senior scored 18 or her 23 points before halftime, but without the services of starter Jaylyn Agnew the Bluejays could not keep up with more balanced Jackrabbits.

The halftime break did little to cool of the Jacks either.

SDSU outscored Creighton 22-4 in the third quarter and ended the period on a 19-2 run to reach its biggest lead (39 points) at the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

Miller led the way for SDSU. She recorded the sixth double-double of her career and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the SDSU star was far from the only contributor.

Sophomore Myah Selland and senior Sydney Palmer added 13 and 10 points, respectively, and junior Rylie Cascio Jensen led the team with five assists to go with seven points off the bench.

Johnston has been pleased with his team’s balance through the first four contests and hopes it continues.

“I just like where the whole rotation is right now, not just any one particular player,” he said. “They are all fitting in well.”

SDSU will match up with No. 4 Baylor on Nov. 23 and Buffalo on Nov. 24 when the team travels to Las Vegas for the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.