The South Dakota State women's basketball team led wire to wire, defeating in-state rival South Dakota, 72-60, Sunday afternoon at Frost Arena as part of the South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn.
In winning their fifth consecutive game, the Jackrabbits improved to 11-5 overall and took over sole possession of first place in The Summit League with a 3-0 record. The win also was No. 301 in head coach Aaron Johnston's career, tying him with Nancy Neiber (301-140 record in 16 seasons from 1984-2000) for most victories in program history.
USD fell to 7-9 overall, 2-1 in league play.
The Jackrabbits took a 3-0 lead on the opening possession of the game as Gabby Boever sank a three-pointer from the left wing. SDSU led 10-2 after a Boever layup at the 16:43 mark before the Coyotes got back to within five, 12-7, two minutes later on a three-pointer by Tempestt Wilson.
SDSU methodically continued to build its lead, hitting double figures at 28-17 on two Megan Waytashek free throws with 4:25 to play.
Wilson kept the Coyotes from falling farther behind, scoring 11 of her team-high 19 points in the first half as the two squads traded baskets the remainder of the half. SDSU led 36-25 at intermission.
After USD trimmed the deficit to eight, 41-33, three and a half minutes into the second half, the Jackrabbits countered with a 7-0 spurt to build their largest lead of the game. Ashley Eide, who scored a game-high 22 points, started the run with a basket, followed by a three-pointer from the top of the key by Hannah Strop and a basket in the paint by Katie Lingle.
The Coyotes got back to within eight on three occasions in the final seven minutes, but SDSU answered the run each time. Waytashek punctuated her 15-point afternoon with a layup and three-pointer in the closing minutes and Eide iced the game with four free throws down the stretch.
The Jackrabbits effectively used the free throw line to their advantage, ending the day 20-of-25 at the stripe, 80 percent. From the field, SDSU made 24-of-50 attempts, 48 percent, but was only 4-of-18 on three-point attempts.
USD, which also received 15 points from Nicole Seekamp and 14 from Polly Harrington, ended the afternoon 23-of-53 from the field, 43.4 percent. The Coyotes were only 1-of-9 from three-point range and converted 13-of-18 free throw attempts, 72.2 percent.
Rebounding was nearly even, with USD holding a 31-29 advantage. Wilson led all players with seven rebounds for the Coyotes, while Leah Dietel and Waytashek paced SDSU with six boards each.
The Jackrabbits are slated to play their first Summit League road game of the season Thursday at Oakland. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time (5:30 p.m. Central) in Rochester, Mich.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series, 49-22 ... the Jackrabbits have won 30 of the last 33 meetings, including three of four as Division I rivals ... SDSU has won 18 consecutive games against the Coyotes at Frost Arena ... South Dakota State leads the Showdown Series, which is a year-long all-sports competition against USD, 5-4 ... Eide reached the 20-point mark for the fourth time in five games ... Waytashek and Eide each reached double figures for the 12th time this season ... SDSU is 6-0 this season when leading at the half ... the Jackrabbits have shot at least 48 percent from the field in all three Summit League games this season ... Johnston has a career record of 301-104 (.743 winning percentage) in his 13 seasons at SDSU, including a 78-15 record in Summit League games ... the Jackrabbits improved to 7-2 at Frost Arena this season ... Waytashek was 6-for-6 at the free throw line, upping her season percentage to a team-best 81 percent (47-of-58) ... SDSU committed 13 turnovers compared to 16 by the Coyotes ... the Jackrabbits held a 17-10 advantage in bench points, led by Katie Lingle's nine ... attendance was 3,045