Jackrabbits blow by Mavericks behind Larson’s big night

Landon Dierks, Sports Reporter

OMAHA, Neb. — What a night it was for Tagyn Larson.

The junior forward scored a career-high 27 points on 11-for-11 shooting, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range as the South Dakota State women ran away an 82-38 win over the University of Nebraska Omaha Wednesday night.

SDSU (19-6, 11-1) continued its march through the second half of the Summit League season, winning its ninth consecutive conference game.

Larson got her near-flawless night started early, knocking down back-to-back 3-point field goals in the first 80 seconds of the contest.

“I think I just got hot early in the game,” Larson said in a postgame radio interview. “My teammates did a good job finding me out on the 3-point line and it was just my night to connect I guess.”

Just as they did in the first matchup with Omaha this season, the Jackrabbits built a 9-0 lead before UNO (7-18, 1-11) could get on the scoreboard.

Early on, the Mavericks found a spark in reserve guard Emily Petersen off the bench. The sophomore knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to keep the game close and recorded a block on a Sydney Palmer layup attempt late in the first quarter.

Despite Petersen’s efforts, the score stood at 17-11 in favor of SDSU after 10 minutes.

When Larson’s third 3-pointer pushed the SDSU lead to 28-13 at the 6:11 mark of the second quarter, Omaha called for a timeout.

The Jacks never looked back after that.

A 15-point lead grew to 39-18 by halftime and 65-29 after three quarters before arriving at the 44-point final margin.

While her perfect offensive performance was the story of the night, SDSU coach Aaron Johnston was equally pleased with Larson’s play on the opposite end of the court. She added nine rebounds and four blocked shots to her career-high offensive output.

“(Defensively) she was really active today,” Johnston said in a postgame radio interview. “She blocked four shots and challenged so many others … She was every bit as good defensively today as she was offensively.”

Myah Selland, Larson’s sophomore frontcourt mate, returned to the starting lineup after missing the Jacks’ previous game against the University of North Dakota.

She didn’t miss from the field either.

Selland made all three of her field goal attempts and went 4-of-6 from the free throw line to finish with 11 points to go with four rebounds and five assists.

All told, the SDSU shot 50 percent from the floor compared Omaha’s 27.3 percent and outrebounded the Mavs 42-30.

“They’re big and really physical inside so I thought our team did a great job of defensive rebounding and did a good job of offensive rebounding in the second half,” Larson said. “It was a good night for us.”

SDSU will have the opportunity to extend its win streak to double digits against North Dakota State University Saturday afternoon in Fargo. The teams’ first meeting this season ended in an 86-33 win for the Jacks at Frost Arena.