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Photo by: Inertia Sports Media/Dave Eggen

Women's Basketball Opens Season at BYU Friday

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/08/2013 08:11:28

BROOKINGS, SD -- Coming off its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 16th 20-win season, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team opens its 48th basketball campaign Friday when it meets West Coast Conference foe Brigham Young University in the 20,900-seat Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, for a 4 p.m. CT tipoff.

   The Jackrabbits enter the season opener with a 2-0 exhibition record after defeating Bemidji State, 100-57, Oct. 27 and Minnesota State, Mankato, 82-60, Nov. 1. BYU is also 2-0 in the exhibition season, beating Colorado Mesa University, 70-66, Nov. 1 and Westmister College, 72-60, Nov. 2.

   Both teams are ranked in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll. SDSU is No. 8 while BYU is No. 16.

   The Jackrabbits, 25-8 last season, open the season on the road for the second-straight year. SDSU lost to Villanova at Minnesota in 2002-13. BYU opens the season at home for the third consecutive season.

Media Coverage

-Television coverage for Friday’s game will be available on both the Dish Network, Channel 9203, and DIRETV, Channel 374. The game can also be seen free online at www.byutv.org/getbyutv.

-Local radio coverage begins a half hour prior to scheduled tipoff on the Jackrabbit Sports Network, with J.J. Hartigan calling the play-by-play. Jackrabbit Sports Network affiliates for SDSU women’s basketball this season include: 104.1 FM (The Wolf) in Yankton, KBRK 93.7 FM in Brookings, KGFX 92.7 FM in Pierre and KORN 1490 AM in Mitchell.

-Additional audio coverage of the BYU game is scheduled to be available via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com, the official website of SDSU athletics. Monthly subscriptions for Jackrabbit Extra, which includes live audio and video streaming of select contests, are available for $11.95 per month or $99.95 for an entire year of coverage.

Setting the Scene

-South Dakota State opens its 48th season overall and ninth in the Division I era. The Jackrabbits sport an 856-378 all-time record and 646-305 mark in Division I play.

-SDSU makes it first trip to the Beehive state since 2011-12 when it beat Southern Utah, 66-50, Jan. 9, 2012.

-The Jackrabbits have a 14-4 record vs. teams from Utah.

Opening Success

The Jackrabbits are 43-4 in season openers, including a 10-2 mark on the road. South Dakota State’s last road victory to open a season was at Missouri (55-50) Nov. 14, 2008.

A Quick Glance at South Dakota State

-SDSU enters the season as the reigning Summit League Tournament and regular season champion after posting a 25-8 overall record and 14-2 conference mark.

-Jackrabbits have 10 letterwinners returning and three starters.

-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters are senior forward Hannah Strop (3.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (13.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.5 ppg, 3.3 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (3.9 ppg, 2.5 apg).

-The Jackrabbits shot 47.1 percent from the field, 27.7 percent from three-point range and 73.6 percent from the free-throw line in their two exhibition wins.

-In the two exhibition games, Waytashek led SDSU in scoring (18.5) while freshman center Clarissa Ober topped the squad in rebounding (7.5). Boever dished out a team best 5.5 assists per game.

-The 2013-14 SDSU women’s basketball roster features 14 players from two states. Of the 14 players, eight are from Minnesota and six are from South Dakota. By class, three are seniors, five are juniors, two are sophomores and four are incoming freshmen.

A Glance at BYU

-BYU was picked to finish fourth in the West Coast Conference’s preseason poll. The Cougars received one vote in the 2013-14 USA Today Sports/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Preseason Poll.

-Senior 6-foot-7 center Jennifer Hamson (11.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.8 bpg) was named to the preseason all-conference team.

-The Cougars finished 2012-13 with records of 23-11 overall and 11-5 in the WCC. They also were 15-2 at home. BYU played in the postseason last year, reaching the third round of the WNIT with wins over Idaho State (69-54) and San Diego State (69-58) and a loss to Saint Mary’s (59-55).

-BYU has nine returning letterwinners and welcomes nine freshmen to the team.

-Brigham Young had to overcome a 15-point deficit to win its first exhibition game, 70-66, vs. Colorado Mesa University, and had a tight game vs. Westmister College.

The Series

-Friday’s game against BYU marks the first-ever meeting between the Jackrabbits and the Cougars. SDSU has a 2-0 record vs. teams from the West Coast Conference. South Dakota State is 2-0 vs. Gonzaga.

Last Outing

Nov. 1, 2013 -- South Dakota State 82, Minnesota State, Mankato 60, exhibition

BROOKINGS, SD -- South Dakota State gained control with a late first-half run and pulled away for an 82-60 victory over Minnesota State, Mankato in exhibition women’s basketball action Nov. 1 at Frost Arena.

   After the teams traded baskets in the early going, the visiting Mavericks gained the lead at 18-17 on a steal and layup by Aubrey Davis. MSU eventually built its lead to five points, 27-22, on a three-pointer from the left wing by Ashley Davis with just over seven minutes to play in the first half.

   Megan Waytashek scored four-straight points and freshman Kerri Young gave the Jackrabbits the lead for good at 29-28 on a three-pointer with 6:11 to play. The six points fueled an 18-5 run to end the first half. SDSU led 40-32 at intermission.

   SDSU opened the second half with an 8-2 spurt to build a double-digit lead for the first time. MSU trimmed the deficit to eight points, 57-49, midway through the second half, but the Jackrabbits responded with a 12-4 run to put the game out of reach.

   Waytashek led all players with 22 points, adding seven rebounds, five steals and three assists. The junior from Lino Lakes, Minn. went 12-for-13 from the free throw line. Young finished the game with 16 points, with Megan Stuart adding 10 points and seven rebounds in a starting role.

   The Jackrabbits finished the game 27-of-63 from the field, 42.9 percent, including 6-of-19 from three-point range. SDSU ended the night 22-of-28 at the line, 78.6 percent, and held a 44-34 rebounding advantage.

A SDSU Win Friday Would...

...give it its first season opening win since 2011-12.

...be its first road victory since 2008.

...be its first win in Utah since 2012.

...give it a 15-4 record vs. teams from Utah and 3-0 vs. teams from the West Coast Conference.

...be head coach Aaron Johnston’s 316th career victory.

Tough Nonconference Schedule

-SDSU will play three teams, which were ranked in the USA Today Sports/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Preseason Poll and the Associated Press Preseason Poll. Additionally, three other foes are ranked in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

-The Jackrabbits’ schedule includes games vs. No. 3/3 Stanford, No. 7/6 Notre Dame and No. 15/13 Penn State. They face the Cardinal Nov. 28 in the Puerto Vallarta Hardwood Tournament of Hope, Penn State at home Dec. 11 and Notre Dame Jan. 2 in South Bend, Ind.

-Four other South Dakota State opponents received votes in the preseason polls: Wisconsin-Green Bay (18/48), Creighton (10/21), Middle Tennessee State (6/11) and BYU (1/0).

-In the Mid-Major poll, Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 7) is ranked fourth, BYU (Friday) 16th and UALR (Dec. 29) is 17th.

Preseason Picks

-After claiming its record fifth-straight tournament title and fourth regular-season title in six years, South Dakota State was selected as the 2013-14 Summit League women’s basketball preseason favorite. The Jackrabbits collected 27-of-30 first-place votes and 319 points in the voting conducted by the league’s head coaches, SIDs and media.

-Junior Megan Waytashek picked up first team preseason accolades and senior Steph Paluch was honored on the second team.

If It Had Been a Regular-Season Game...

...Megan Waytashek and Megan Stuart would have set career highs. 

-Waytashek dished out a team-high seven assists vs. Bemidji State Oct. 27 which would have topped her career high of six assists set at North Dakota State March 3, 2013.

-Stuart grabbed a team-best seven rebounds in a win over Minnesota, Mankato Nov. 1. The caroms would have bettered her career high of four boards which she set four times in 2012-13, the last vs. Fort Wayne March 11.

856 and Counting

-SDSU’s victory over Oakland on Dec. 29, 2011, was the 800th in the women’s basketball program’s history. Since starting women’s basketball at South Dakota State in 1966-67 with a 6-0 mark, the Jacks have compiled an overall record of 856-378 (.693 winning percentage).

-In addition, SDSU sealed its 27th consecutive winning season between competing at the NCAA Division II and Division I levels during the 2012-13 season. The Jackrabbits’ last losing season was an 11-16 campaign during the 1985-86 season.

190 D-I wins

Since moving to the NCAA Division I ranks at the start of the 2004-05 season, the Jackrabbits have posted a winning record against D-I opponents. In its nine seasons, SDSU has compiled a 190-74 mark (.719 winning percentage) vs. D-I opposition. The Jackrabbits have posted victories over 60 different Division I teams representing 20 conferences, plus independents.

Tough at Home

-The Jackrabbits women’s basketball team has gained a decisive home-court advantage at Frost Arena over the past decade.

-In his tenure as Jackrabbits head coach, Aaron Johnston has led the Jackrabbits to a 159-25 record (.864 winning percentage) at Frost Arena, including a 104-13 mark (.867 winning pct.) at home during the Division I era. The Jackrabbits have put together home winning streaks of 15, 15 and 22 in the process.

-Since the start of the 2001-02 season, SDSU has a 148-20 home record (.880 winning percentage), losing an average fewer than two games at Frost Arena each full season. The Jackrabbits capped the 2008-09 regular season with a 14-0 record -- a mark that stands as the first undefeated home season in school history.

-A loss to Western Kentucky early in the 2009-10 campaign snapped a 35-game regular-season home winning streak, as well as a 15-game overall winning streak that began after SDSU lost to Creighton in the first round of the 2008 Women's NIT.

-SDSU’s loss to Oral Roberts on Jan. 4, 2010, marked its first home loss to a Summit League opponent.

Summit League Success

-South Dakota State has built an impressive Summit League résumé during its tenure in the conference.

-Since joining the league at the start of the 2007-08 season, the Jackrabbits have compiled a 89-17 record (.839 winning percentage) in Summit League regular season games en route to outright league titles with records of 16-2 in 2007-08, 17-1 during the 2008-09 season, 16-2 during the 2011-12 campaign and 14-2 in 2012-13.

-In addition, SDSU has gone 47-6 at home (.886 winning percentage) against league foes and has won at least one game on every other Summit League member's home court with the exception of Denver, which joins the Summit League this season.

Family Ties

-Two members of the 2013-14 Jackrabbits women’s basketball team are following in the footsteps of older sisters -- both of whom were recent additions to the SDSU 1,000-Point Club.

-Junior guard Gabby Boever is the second from her family to play for the Jackrabbits. The Worthington, Minn., native follows her older sister, Maria, who scored 1,360 points - currently 14th - during a career that spanned the 2007-10 seasons.

-Sophomore guard Chloe Cornemann’s older sister, Ketty, also lettered for the Jackrabbits from 2007-10, finishing her career 30th in scoring at SDSU with 1,042 points. Their father, Dave, was an NCAA Division II national champion wrestler for the Jackrabbits at 167 pounds in 1984.

-Freshman forward Clarissa Ober’s father, Cullen, played basketball for the Jackrabbits from 1987-90.

Jackrabbits Attendance Mark

-Since the Johnston era began in 2000-01, South Dakota State has averaged 2,266 fans per game.

-SDSU is averaging 1,554 fans in its two exhibition games after averaging 2,208 last season.

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