Jacks Thump IPFW, Advance In Summit League Tournament


Lexi Alexander passes the ball to a teammate in the first half against Fort Wayne. 

SIOUX FALLS — A 9-0 run was all the SDSU women needed to have the lead after the first quarter, but they decided to play the rest of the game anyway. In the end, the Jacks led the entire game and earned an 80-60 victory in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament. 

Macy Miller, who had hit just three of her last 22 three-point attempts going into the Summit League Tournament, hit three from downtown in the game’s first 11 minutes on her way to 20 points and eight rebounds. 

“It’s a new season,” said Miller of her hot shooting. “You’ve just gotta clear your head, have confidence in every shot. Shot’s weren’t falling earlier, but you’ve just got to keep having confidence.”

The Jacks led by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter to come away with the win and advance to Monday’s semifinal against the winner of Sunday’s IUPUI/Omaha quarterfinal. 

Miller’s hot shooting early in the game helped jumpstart the SDSU attack as the sophomore guard connected on her first three-point attempt 70 seconds into the game. That coupled with sophomore post Ellie Thompson (10 points, nine rebounds) battling inside put the Jacks in command early. 

Fort Wayne head coach Chris Paul said that his team tried to adjust for Miller’s hot outside shooting, but was unable to contain her overall game, saying “She’s just really, really good.”

Kerri Young joined Miller with a game-high 20 points and added six rebounds, four assists and a steal to her day’s work. Young’s energetic play in the first half helped keep the momentum in SDSU’s favor early on. 

“I think we came our right away with a lot of energy. We were all fired up,” Young said. “This is the fun part of the season, to come out here at the Summit League and just show our best basketball.”

Nine different players scored for the Jacks as all 12 players on SDSU’s active roster saw action. This wasn’t done by accident. 

“It’s really just about trust. Trusting those players to come in and give us exactly what we need.” head coach Aaron Johnston said of his rotation methods. “We need to know that they feel trusted and we trust them. I think that’s how our team has always functioned.” 

The game was played in front of an announced crowd of 9,816 people, the highest figure all-time for a women’s Summit League Tournament session and the second-highest announced attendance for all sessions combined. 

“It was really cool,” said Miller. “Just during the USD game when we were walking in and the crowd was standing up and cheering for us, it just all gave us chills.” 

The Jacks’ lockdown defense returned as they held the Mastodons to 32 percent shooting, thanks in large part to Summit League Defensive Player of the Year Clarissa Ober’s four blocks. To counter, the Jacks shot 41 percent overall for the game, including 11-of-31 from three-point range as a team. 

IPFW was led by Allyson Bunch, who finished with a team-high 19 points off the bench. 

SDSU improves to 19-1 all-time in the Summit League Tournament and will play either IUPUI or Omaha on Monday at 2:30 pm.