Women’s basketball: Jacks earn a win at home versus Highlanders

By Jordan C. Smith Sportswriter

The women’s basketball team came into Monday’s game against the NJIT Highlanders with one goal: to get back into the win column. SDSU won by a convincing 71-46.

Coming into the game, SDSU was ranked 25th in the most recent Mid-Major Poll. The Jackrabbits found their win as they saw three players reach double figures and down the Highlanders by a score of 71-46. The Jacks improve to 5-4 on the season while the Highlanders drop to 2-7.

The game was even through most of the first half as the two teams were trading shots, until SDSU hopped on a 24-6 run to close out the first half leading 29-16. The high score doesn’t reflect the struggles that the Jacks experienced from deep throughout most of the first half. After going 0-5 from long range junior Gabrielle Boever dropped one from deep to get the Jacks back on track.

The defense was exceptional Monday night as SDSU forced NJIT to run deep into their shot clock on just about every trip down the court. After forcing multiple shot clock violations it was clear the Highlanders were searching for answers to the stingy Jackrabbit defense.

“We have played well defensively all year,” head coach Aaron Johnston said. “Second half we came out a little flat, but overall it was good performance.”

Freshmen guard Kerri Young got her first start Monday night in place of the sick Hannah Strop. Young recorded 10 points while bringing down five rebounds. Young had an impressive start for a freshman being thrown into her first collegiate start.

“She played well,” Johnston said. “She played with confidence and it was fun to see.”

Juniors Megan Waytashek and Mariah Clarin led the way in scoring for the Jacks as each recorded 12 points, and both attempted to earn a double-double, but ended with Waytashek bringing down eight and Clarin with seven.

“We didn’t play hard enough in Mexico,” Waytashek said. “Our main focus tonight was to come in and play hard.”

This Saturday, Dec. 7, the Jackrabbits travel to Green Bay to take on University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Tip-off is scheduled for noon. 

“It is going to be a challenge,” Johnston said. “They are no different than a Creighton, a BYU, or a Florida Gulf Coast, they are just good.”