Jacks trample Bison in Fargo

Landon Dierks, Sports Reporter

FARGO, N.D. — It wasn’t quite as lopsided as the teams’ first meeting this season, but it still wasn’t close.

Senior guard Macy Miller scored 30 points as South Dakota State (20-6, 12-1) defeated North Dakota State (6-19, 3-10) 88-48 Saturday afternoon at the Scheels Center in Fargo.

After posting six points in Wednesday night’s blowout win over the University of Nebraska Omaha, Miller got going early against the rival Bison and never let up.

“Macy was really assertive,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said in a postgame radio interview. “I think she’s played really well in January and February. I can’t think of too many games where she’s been down, but sometimes she doesn’t score it as much. That’s a reflection of other people scoring, not a reflection of us struggling offensively. That’s just what happens when you have good, talented people.”

Senior guard Madison Guebert contributed 18 points to the SDSU scoring effort, making 3-of-5 attempts from 3-point range.

A Miller layup at the 4:04 mark of the first quarter gave the Jacks an early 14-7 lead and prompted NDSU coach Maren Walseth to call for a timeout. The Bison rallied out of the break, at one point bringing the game to within three points at 16-13, but trailed 21-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Over a three minute stretch early in the second quarter, SDSU missed 6-of-7 shot attempts, but solid defense kept NDSU from making a run.

Another Miller layup put the Jacks up 33-17, prompting Walseth to call another timeout. Again, her team responded with a run. A 7-0 spurt cut the lead back to single digits, but the Bison couldn’t keep the momentum rolling.

Over the final 2:32 of the second quarter, the Jacks answered with a 10-0 run of their own, pushing the halftime advantage to 43-24.

“I thought that second quarter we did a really good job of buckling down on defense,” Miller said in a postgame radio interview. “And looking (at the box score) we did a good job of taking care of the ball. We had zero turnovers in the first half — that’s something really special.”

Turnover margin played a large role in the dominant effort by SDSU. The Jacks forced 18 turnovers while giving the ball away only 5 times, all in the second half.

NDSU guard Michelle Gaislerova was the only Bison player to reach double figures, as the Summit League’s fifth-leading scorer (15 points per game) recorded 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting.

With its win streak now at double-digit wins, SDSU returns to Brookings to close out the regular season with three consecutive home games. The first of those is a matchup with Purdue Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 in Frost Arena.