A rematch between two of the top three teams in the Summit League required more than 40 minutes as USD prevailed 59-53 in overtime Monday night at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
USD (18-6, 9-5 Summit) opened to an early lead, but SDSU went on a 9-0 run to take control of the first half. Although there were lead changes, SDSU (18-8, 13-2 Summit) remained the dominant force and went into halftime with a 10 point lead, ahead 31-21.
In the early second half, the Jacks and the Coyotes traded possessions and kept a steady lead for the Jacks until USD closed the gap with a 3-pointer from game-high scorer Amber Hegge with 2:22 left to play at 49-43. The Jackrabbits failed to hit another field goal the rest of the regulation and USD closed the half on a 9-0 run to force overtime, tied at 49.
“We can’t just not score and not play defense and expect to win,” Steph Paluch said. “We’ve got to play a whole 40 minutes.”
While SDSU failed to close out the game, head coach Aaron Johnston felt his team gave a good enough effort to win the game, they just couldn’t convert in crunch time. After they struggled to score points in the second half, SDSU scored only four points in the overtime period, shooting 2-of-9 in the final session.
“Sometimes momentum can change a game…It’s hard to maintain a level of intensity when you’re not scoring, too. I think had we made some baskets, I think you would have seen a little more enthusiasm. But I don’t think we were tired at all.” Johnston said.
Amber Hegge led all scorers with 28 points for USD, and the only other scorer in double figures was Jill Young with 10 points for the Jacks.
The Jacks now turn their attention to Saturday, when they host NDSU in Brookings on Feb. 18.