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Jacks snap two-game slide, dominate Green Bay

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Jacks snap two-game slide, dominate Green Bay

Landon Dierks

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Defense is considered to be the strength of the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay’s women’s basketball program, but it was South Dakota State that showed out on defense Thursday night.

SDSU dominated from the opening tip en route to a 77-47 win over the No. 4 team in the latest CollegeInsider.com mid-major poll.

“They’re a lot better than we are,” Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth said. “That was very evident.”

The Jacks got off to a nearly flawless start, holding the Phoenix scoreless for nearly the first nine minutes of the first quarter and opening up a 15-0 lead before Green Bay found themselves on the scoreboard.

“Our team played phenomenal tonight and I’m really proud of them,” senior guard Macy Miller said. “Our defense showed how hard we’ve been working this week and coming off those two losses (we showed) how good of a team we want to be. It’s pretty exciting.”

Baskets were few and far between for the visitors throughout the first half as Green Bay shot just 4-22 from the field, good for 18 percent.

By halftime, SDSU led 34-12.

“Our first half defense was about as well as you can play against a really efficient offensive team,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said.

A part of the first half disparity was the turnovers.

The Phoenix turned the ball over 12 times leading to 15 points of off turnovers by the Jackrabbits. Green Bay did not score off of three Jackrabbit turnovers.

Despite the slow start, Green Bay showed signs of life in the third quarter.

Green Bay nearly doubled its first-half scoring output in the period but were not able to put much of a dent in the large lead, only outscoring the Jacks by three points in the third quarter.

In fact, it was the Jackrabbits who threw the first punch of the second half.

SDSU extended its lead to 27 points early in the third quarter, but a 9-0 Phoenix run to cut the lead to 18 midway through the period.

Cutting any further into the Jacks’ lead proved difficult as the score remained heavily in SDSU’s favor, 54-35, at the end of three quarters.

Early in the fourth quarter, Green Bay went on a run to cut the lead to 13 and looked to have seized the momentum.

The window of opportunity closed quickly.

Miller hit a 3-pointer to re-energize the crowd and 90 seconds later, the Jacks’ lead ballooned to 21, prompting a Phoenix timeout. South Dakota State once led by as much as 32 with under two minutes to play.

The Jacks’ 77 points are the most Green Bay has allowed this season.

“They’re an amazing defensive team, one of the best in the nation,” junior forward Tagyn Larson said. “We knew coming in that we had to execute on offense and I think we did that tonight.”

Miller led all scorers with 21 points to go along with five rebounds.

Freshman forward Paiton Burckhard provided a lift off the bench as she scored a career-high 16 points.

“Paiton was excellent tonight,” Johnston said. “No just offensively but when she does play well it changes our lineups that we can go with.”

Madison Guebert (13 points) and Myah Selland (12 points) also scored in double figures for the Jacks. Selland also grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double. 

Rylie Cascio Jensen dished out seven assists and led the Jackrabbits in that category.

For SDSU’s next contest, the Jackrabbits will travel to face the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Tuesday, Dec. 4.

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Jacks snap two-game slide, dominate Green Bay