Notebook: Paluch goes down Jacks’ win


Jackrabbits come together after Paluch injury

An excited Sioux Falls Arena fell silent in the first half the Jackrabbits’ win over IUPUI Monday when SDSU guard Steph Paluch left the game with an injury to her right knee.

Paluch had a break away basket and came to a jump stop before falling to the ground as she finished the play with a made bucket. Play was stopped immediately and the officials called for the trainers, with the Pierre native in obvious pain.

“When that happened, we were kind of emotional about it. But in those times we need to come together and we knew we just had to come together and do it for Steph,” backcourt mate Jill Young said.

Paluch has started in all 31 games this season for the Jackrabbits and watched the second half from the end of the bench with her leg resting on a chair.

“You can always replace the player on the floor,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “You lose the person and the emotion. You’re just sad to see someone who’s been with you the whole way and out there all along not be there tomorrow. You don’t want to see this type of adversity but when you do, what a good life lesson to learn from it.”

Big help from Boever

A successful story on how to rehab from knee injuries is being played out with SDSU’s Gabby Boever.

“Going on a run at the end of the first half was big for us, just because the game was so close, and coming back right away in the second half, we needed that and it made us come together a lot more.”

Boever finished the game with 12 points and four rebounds. A redshirt freshman, she missed all of last season because of a knee injury in her senior year of high school.

“With Steph going down and it makes everyone come together and you know that you have to pick it up and make sure you go with what Steph was bringing to the team,” Boever said.

Title tilt

Missouri-Kansas City clinched their spot in the finals with a 71-56 win over Western Illinois on Monday. It’s the first time since 2005 that the Kangaroos will appear in a final.

Now, a tall task in SDSU stands in front of the Kangaroos’ title hopes. The Jackrabbits beat UMKC twice earlier this season but the ‘Roos have not lost since they lost to the Jacks’ on Feb. 11 in Kansas City, 79-73.

“You can’t let them have three-pointers in transition,” UMKC coach Candace Whitaker said of the Jackrabbits. “They’re tough to guard because they move it inside and outside and they’ll high-low you to death if you let them,”

UMKC witnessed the Jacks put away IUPUI on two runs and the ‘Roos know they can’t let that happen on Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re just going to have to dour best to cut their runs and not let their fans get into an uproar. There’s a lot of people who are Jackrabbits fans and we just can’t let them have runs,” Whitaker said.