Jackrabbits run past Huskies

By TRENTON ABREGO Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies 94-84 in first-round WNIT action.  

Kerri Young led the way for the Jackrabbits as she had a career high of 28 points and six rebounds.

“I just played loose, played free and shots just kind of present themselves and I took advantage of it,” Young said. 

SDSU also got a contribution from their other senior, Clarissa Ober. Ober had 17 points and 20 rebounds. It was Obers’ seventh double-double of the season. Her twenty rebounds were the second-most in school history and most in school WNIT history.  

“We knew coming into this game we knew they take a lot of quick shots and they are long shots so there was going to be long rebounds and their point guard gets nine rebounds per game so we knew rebounding would be important on both sides,” Ober said.

Northern Illinois approached the game knowing they probably wouldn’t win the rebounding margin, but thought they would need to win the margin to win the game.

“Most of the time I feel like other teams have the rebounding edge,” Northern Illinois head coach Lisa Carlsen said. 

As a team, the Jackrabbits won the rebounding edge by 12 rebounds and had 57 rebounds as a team. 

Ober also had six blocks, which is the most in school WNIT history.

Madison Guebert and Ellie Thompson also had double-figure contributions, with 15 and 14 points respectively.

The wealth was spread for the Jackrabbits and they had 22 total assists, which was a season high.

“I think ball movement is important for us, when we get slow and just throw it inside, it takes away from the aggressiveness,” South Dakota State head coach Aaron Johnston said.

Alexis Alexander had a career-high eight assists and came up with seven rebounds.

Northern Illinois had four players in double figures. Kelly Smith and Courtney Woods both had 19 points. Ally Lehman, who averages 18.3 points per game on the year, was held to 16 points. The other Huskie in double figures was Mikayla Voigt, who knocked down three 3-pointers.

The Jackrabbits led the game for 38 minutes and only trailed for 10 seconds. But they had to fend off a late surge from the Huskies, who once closed the lead to just six points.

Up next, the Jackrabbits will have to wait and see who the winner is between UNLV and Colorado.  Depending on the winner, the Jackrabbits will host either team Saturday or Sunday.