Women’s basketball tops USD in home rematch

Waytashek, Miller lead Jacks to revenge in Brookings

 

Led by freshman Macy Miller’s first career double, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team avenged their earlier season loss to the University of South Dakota, topping the Coyotes 77-67 in Frost Arena.

“Macy had a series of big possessions for us where she hit some big shots,” SDSU Head Coach Aaron Johnston said. “There’s not much difference between winning and losing a game like that, and it was good to see us come out on top.“

In a game where both teams went 24-63 from the field and hit four three-pointers apiece, the difference was at the free throw line. USD finished a respectable 15-20 from the line, but SDSU went 25-32 to create the gap for the win. USD Head Coach Amy Williams saw more issues than just the free throws in her team’s loss though.

“The underlying message is just that we gave up too many second chance opportunities and gave up too many rebounds, which we thought would be the war here,” Williams said. “We also got outscored at the free throw line by 10.”

Miller finished the first half with 10 points and nine rebounds, but would not secure her the first double-double of her career until the 3:40 mark in the second half. She finished with 16 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Senior Megan Waytashek, who sat out the previous game against USD (an 82-78 loss) with flu-like symptoms, made her presence felt with 18 points and a team high of four assists, while going 7-7 from the free throw line.

USD was led by 18 points from Nicole Seekamp, and also got 12 off the bench from Bridget Arens.

After grind-it-out style first half, the Jacks held an eight-point advantage after 20 minutes, at 36-28.

The offense flowed a little more easily in the second half, and USD came as close as four points away, threatening at 58-54 with just under eight minutes to play, but a stretch the included three straight baskets by Miller pushed the lead back to 10 at 70-60 and the Coyotes never mounted a serious challenge after that. 

The Jacks stopped USD from clinching the regular season Summit League title, but they are more concerned with their own play heading into the conference tournament.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” said Waytashek. “We can only take care of ourselves.”

With two home games left, the Jacks are at 10-3 in conference play, second only to the Coyotes 11-3 mark. Directly behind the Jacks are the Jaguars of IUPUI and the Leathernecks of Western Illinois with marks of 9-5.

The Jags and the Leathernecks just happen to be the two teams SDSU hosts in their final two games of the season as they look to lock up one of the top two seeds in the Summit League Tournament, which is scheduled for March 7 to March 10 in Sioux Falls at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

“We can’t really control anyone who’s in front of us, or behind us,” Johnston said. “We just have to find a way to play at a high level.”