Jacks tested by ORU, advance to all SoDak final

By: Austin Hamm

The SDSU women’s basketball team had to work for their spot in the Summit League final, overcoming poor shooting and a five point half time deficit to defeat Oral Roberts 59-48.


“That was an incredibly difficult and challenging game,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said.


The Jacks were lead by 13 points from senior Megan Waytashek and 12 from freshman Ellie Thompson. Waytashek also lead the team with 7 rebounds.


“We knew coming into it that every game was going to come down to the end to the end of the game,” Waytashek said. “No team’s going to give up and roll over because it’s the last game of their season, and I’m just really proud of how we fought to the end and how we finished the game.”


 Oral Roberts was lead by a triple double from Vicky McIntyre, with 20 points, 18 rebounds, and 12 blocks. It was the first triple double in Summit League Women’s tournament history, and the 12 blocks set the tournament record, and tied the single season record, as well as tying the NCAA season mark.


 Starting guards Macy Miller and Kerri Young went a combined 6-28 form the field, contributing to the Jackrabbits’ shooting woes as they hit just 29% in the first half en route to a 32-27 deficit. They trailed by just two, but Atoe’ Jackson of ORU hit a buzzer beating three, complimenting a 15 point first half effort from McIntyre.


The second half was a different story, as the Jacks held ORU scoreless for over 10 minutes, from 17:30 to 7:16. The defense did not lead to offense though as the game was tied at 42 all with five and a half minutes on the clock. It was at this point SDSU took control, closing the game on a 17-6 run, getting the shooting percentage all the way up to 32% for the afternoon.


“Every timeout in the second half we talked about what we’re doing, but we also left with the message of let’s be on task here, let’s be focused on making the positive play,” Johnston said.


With the victory, the Jacks advance to face the University of South Dakota for the Summit League championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament, as USD defeated IUPUI earlier in the day to make their 3rd straight final. The Coyotes topped Fort Wayne in last years final. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.


“We’re really excited, looking forward to it and hope we come home with the W,” Young said of facing the Rabbits in-state rivals for the conference title.