Jacks use strong second half to move on to semifinals

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The South Dakota State women’s basketball team advanced to the Summit League semifinals with a 65-50 win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

The South Dakota State women’s basketball team advanced to the Summit League semifinals with a 65-50 win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.

At the half, the score was tied at 37 all but the Jackrabbits came out of the locker room with a more defensive mindset.

“Like we have said all year, defense will get our offense going and we all just kind of dug in,” Clarissa Ober said.

At one point, in the third quarter the Golden Eagles were held scoreless for 6:36. The Jackrabbit faithful at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, and there was plenty of them, seemed to grow louder every minute the Eagles didn’t score.

“I think it just helps us get our confidence going,” Kerri Young said of the loud Jackrabbit fans.

Offensively, the Jackrabbits started out slow shooting just 45 percent from the field at the half, but came out and built the percentage to 52.

“I didn’t see them lose composure at all,” head coach Aaron Johnston said.

Clarissa Ober and Kerri Young, both seniors, led the Jackrabbits offensively. Ober scored 10 points and had 16 rebounds, which set a career high for her. Kerri Young managed to make two big three pointers and finished with 16 points. Only four of her 16 points came in the first half.

Sophomore Madison Guebert also made a substantial offensive contribution, as she also scored 16 points.

On the rebounding front, the Jackrabbits out-rebounded the Golden Eagles by 16. South Dakota State took advantage of this with seven second chance points.

Kerri Young recorded her 100th career assist and ended the game with three assists. Madison Guebert moved into second place for three-pointers made in school history.

For the first time since 2012, the Golden Eagle Women’s team will not be advancing to the Summit League semifinals.  

South Dakota State has now seen nine straight victories over Oral Roberts, and have defeated them four times without losing in the Summit League tournament.

Last time against the Golden Eagles, the Jackrabbits had no issue with taking care of them and beat them 85-35.

“Honestly, we didn’t look at our second game against them because they weren’t healthy,” Clarissa Ober said.

Now the Jackrabbits will have to shift their focus to the second-seeded IUPUI Jaguars, who they have split the season series with.

IUPUI is led by Danielle Lawrence and Mikale Rogers. Both players have started all 30 games for the Jaguars and average over 10 points per game. Lawrence was named to the All-Summit League First Team.

The Jaguars are only allowing 56 points on average, which leads the Summit League. IUPUI defeated SDSU in their last matchup 64-59 Feb. 11 in Indianapolis.

“We will see another phenomenally defensive team tomorrow,” Johnston said.

The game will take place Monday at 2:30 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls and will be televised on MidcoSn and ESPN3.