Messy game gives Jacks IUPUI win

Robert Meyers Sports Editor


Preseason favorites to win the Summit League, SDSU women’s basketball team took their first step in that direction with a sloppy, but hard fought 63-57 victory over the visiting IUPUI Jaguars on Thursday night.

The Jaguars entered the contest with a 10-5 record and a great deal of confidence, and when SDSU senior forward Hannah Strop found herself on the bench at the 18:34 mark after picking up her second foul, it became apparent the Jacks would have their hands full. The Jacks trailed by as many as four before mounting an 11-2 run which gave them a 17-12 lead with 11:46 left in the half. Excellent bench production to the tune of 24 points allowed the Jacks to extend their lead to 32-23 heading into the half. 

After Gabby Boever scored the first basket of the second half to put the Jacks up by 11, the team s flat lined offensively for the next 11 minutes, allowing the Jaguars to sneak back into the game and claim a 42-40 lead at the 8:43 mark. During the first 12 minutes of the half, the Jacks shot 27.8 percent from the field and missed all five of their three-point attempts. Despite regaining Strop for the second half, the Jacks saw forward Mariah Clarin spend much of the half on the bench as she became plagued by foul trouble and eventually fouled out, having played only 14 minutes for the Jacks – most of them coming in the first half. Despite SDSU’s troubles, IUPUI suffered from even more miscues and turnovers than the Jacks, finishing the game with 20 turnovers to SDSU’s 17. 

“When they were kind of giving us a chance there with some turnovers, we threw it right back to them,” Jaguars head coach Austin Parkinson said. “We were able to speed the game up there and get ourselves back in the game where we got ahead … they [SDSU] did all the little things the mattered at the end. They chased down rebounds on missed free throws. And that’s why they’re a good program.”

The Jacks regained their moment at the 6:48 mark when Strop drained a three-pointer to take back the lead, 46-44. A minute and half later, Megan Waytashek further energized the crowd by making highlight real layup despite being guarded by two players and knocked off-balance by a foul. Although IUPUI still tried to claw their way back, SDSU fought them off to earn a win against an IUPUI team that looks to be one of the biggest obstacles between the Jacks and another conference title. 

“The win was huge and we talked in the locker room afterwards,” Tara Heiser said. “There are still lots of things that we need to get better and improve on, but it’s just the win and getting moving in the right direction and it’s building confidence for us.”

Heiser led the team with 11 points to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Waytashek contributed nine points, four rebounds and a steal. Also scoring nine was Boever who made three steals and an assist. Strop led the team in rebounds with eight to go along with five points and an assist. In all, 10 players contributed three or more points for the Jacks. Despite the many contributions, the Jacks are still hoping to increase their scoring, both as a team and individually.

“There’s a couple players that probably need to get going offensively,” head coach Aaron Johnston said. “And I think they feel that pressure; they feel that expectation. I think we just have too many of them right now just trying a little bit too hard. There’s a real fine line between letting things come to you and trying to be assertive and I think our players are just on either side of that right now … But I think it will come.”