Summit League Preview: South Dakota State Women Host Oral Roberts, at IUPUI
The South Dakota State women's basketball team is looking at things from a different perspective this week - all alone atop the Summit League standings, heading into the final three weeks of the regular season.
The Jackrabbits (18-5/9-2) begin play a full game up on South Dakota and Western Illinois with the third of three straight home games up first, before heading out on the road for three.
Oral Roberts comes to Frost Arena Wednesday (February 8).
The Golden Eagles (13-11/5-6) have been one of the best road teams in the conference this season, with a trio of league victories away from Tulsa, where they are just 1-4.
ORU is the top overall rebounding team in the Summit and has pulled down 40 offensive boards in the last three games. Faith Ihim leads the league in that category.
The Golden Eagles have been playing stingy defense as of late, holding opponents to 50 points or less in three of their last four games. Kaylan Mayberry is fourth in the conference in steals.
SDSU won the first meeting, 78-57, after getting off to a great start. The Jackrabbits shot 57 percent in the first quarter in Tulsa, while holding ORU to just 34 percent.
The Golden Eagles cut it to eight in the second, but South Dakota State scored nine straight, followed by eight of the first ten points in the second half to cruise to the win.
Ellie Thompson led SDSU with 17 points.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Brookings.
Saturday (February 11) the Jackrabbits travel to IUPUI.
The Jaguars (17-7/7-4) are currently fourth in the Summit League standings, two games back of SDSU.
IUPUI is the top three-point shooting team in the Summit, with Sydney Hall and Danielle Lawrence both among the top eight long range shooters in the conference.
The Jags defense allows the fewest points in the league. They held opponents to under 60 points in six of their last seven games.
IUPUI had a six-game winning streak snapped last weekend (February 4) at Oral Roberts.
Offensively, Lawrence and Mikale Rogers are the top weapons, averaging 31 points a game combined.
SDSU won first meeting 68-49, limiting IUPUI to just five shot attempts in the first quarter and just five points in the third. Lawrence was just 2-of-12 from the field, as the Jaguars turned the ball over 16 times.
Kerri Young led the Jackrabbits with 20 points.
Tipoff is 2:00 PM in Indianapolis. The Jackrabbits have not won on the Jaguars home floor since 2011.
Last Thursday (February 2) the Jackrabbits got a strong defensive effort against North Dakota State, forcing 24 turnovers in a 70-44 win.
The SDSU defense held NDSU's Taylor Thunstedt in check. The Summit's 10th leading scorer was just 2-of-10 from the field at Frost Arena.
The Jackrabbits got balanced scoring with four players (Madison Guebert, Ellie Thompson, Clarissa Ober, Kerri Young) in double figures.
Saturday (February 4), in a match-up of first place teams, South Dakota State's defense proved very disruptive to South Dakota's outside shooting, limiting the Coyotes to just 2-of-10 from behind the three-point line in a 70-58 win.
The Jackrabbits dominated the boards, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds, while the defense forced 17 turnovers.
SDSU once again had four players (Guebert, Ober, Young, Thompson) score in double figures.
I talked with Jackrabbits Coach Aaron Johnston about last week's sweep and this week's match-ups with Oral Roberts and IUPUI: