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Photo by: Robby Gallagher

Jacks Host Pepperdine in Frost Arena

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/20/2013 10:34:13

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- Riding a modest two-game winning streak and sporting a five-game home winning streak, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (2-2) hosts West Coast Conference opponent Pepperdine University (2-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the friendly confines of Frost Arena.

   The Jackrabbits won their second consecutive game with an impressive 80-44 win over Northern Iowa Nov. 17. The Waves are coming off a 76-59 win over UC Irvine in their home opener Nov. 14.

   SDSU entered the week ranked 25th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll (Nov. 19).

Media Coverage

   Audio and video coverage of Thursday’s 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.

   Local radio coverage begins a half hour prior to scheduled tipoff on the Jackrabbit Sports Network, with Scott Kwas calling the play-by-play and Jill Sargent providing the color commentary. 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, 1490 AM in Mitchell and KGFX 92.7 FM in Pierre.

Setting the Scene

-South Dakota State will be protecting a five-game home winning streak, that dates to last season, in Frost Arena Thursday.

-SDSU sports a 395-104 all-time record on its home court.

-The Jackrabbits are looking for their first win this season and third win all-time against a West Coast Conference team. SDSU lost to WCC foe BYU in its season opener.

-Pepperdine is the 11th team from the Golden State to play South Dakota State.

A Quick Glance at South Dakota State

-For the fifth consecutive game, head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters are senior forward Hannah Strop (3.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (5.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (4.5 ppg, 5.0 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (13.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg). The lineup sports a 2-2 record.

-Waytashek and Paluch have each scored in double figures in three of four games, and six other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games.

-SDSU is shooting 40.6 percent from the field, 46.1 percent from three-point range and 67.1 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 70.5 points per game and limiting opponents to 68.2 points per game.

A Glance at Pepperdine

-Pepperdine is 2-1 on the season after defeating Seattle University, 84-73, Nov. 8, losing at UCLA, 82-78, Nov. 11 and winning its home opener over UC Irvine, 76-59, Nov. 14.

-The Waves have three of its starters averaging double figures in scoring. Bria Richardson leads the team in scoring and assists, averaging 18.7 points per game and 4.3 assists per outing. She is also shooting 50 percent from the field, making 23 of 46 shots. Ea Shoushtari is averaging 15.7 points per game and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game. Keitra Wallace is scoring at a 13.7 clip. 

-Pepperdine is shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 25.7 percent from three-point range and 74.6 percent from the free-throw line.

-The Waves finished with records of 5-23 overall and 4-11 in the league last year, and was ninth in the West Coast Conference. 

-Pepperdine was picked to finish 10th in the preseason West Coast Conference coaches poll.

-The Waves return two starters, eight letterwinners, and add two transfers and two freshmen.

The Series

-Thursday’s game marks the first-ever meeting between the Jackrabbits and the Waves. SDSU has a 2-1 record vs. teams from the West Coast Conference. South Dakota State is 2-0 vs. Gonzaga and 0-1 vs. BYU.

-SDSU is 17-5 vs. teams from the Golden State.  The last time a California team visited Brookings was Dec. 17, 2008, when the Jackrabbits beat UC Davis, 59-47, in Frost Arena.

-South Dakota State head coach Aaron Johnston is 9-3 vs. teams from California.

Last Outing

-Nov. 17, 2013 -- South Dakota State 80, Northern Iowa 44

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Using a 15-0 run to start the game, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team improved to 2-2 with an 80-44 win over Northern Iowa (1-2) in front of 1,512 fans at Frost Arena.

   The Jackrabbits forced Northern Iowa to miss its first eight shots while six different players scored for SDSU.

   Overall, SDSU had 12 of 13 players score in the game, and the Jacks extended their home-court winning streak to five games, dating to last season.

   For the second consecutive game, senior Steph Paluch led the team in scoring with a game-high 16 points.  The guard was 6 of 10 from the field and sank a career-high four three-pointers.

   Freshman Kerri Young tallied a career-best 13 points off the bench while classmate Chynna Stevens scored nine points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

   After leading 15-0 with 14:39 left in the first half, South Dakota State pushed the lead to 23 points, 30-7, on a pair of free throws by Young.  Sophomore guard Chloe Cornemann scored a career-high nine points, including eight points in the first half.

   SDSU held a 17-point lead at halftime, 34-17.

   In the second half, Northern Iowa got to within 18 points, 48-30, with 12:58 left in the game, but the Jacks went on a 10-0 run to push their lead to 58-33 at 8:29. South Dakota State then finished the game on an 11-3 run to post its second consecutive win.

   Jen Keitel paced Northern Iowa with 14 points and Ty Smith added 12.

A SDSU Win Thursday Would...

...extend the Jacks’ winning streak to three and their home winning streak to six.

...give it a 3-1 record vs. the West Coast Conference.

...be head coach Aaron Johnston’s 318th career victory.

Paluch Named Player of the Week

-Senior Steph Paluch was named The Summit League Player of the Week Monday, after helping South Dakota State to a 2-1 record this past week.

-For the week, the guard averaged 16 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. She shot 66.7 percent from the field, 70 percent from three-point range and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line.

-In a 68-63 loss at Creighton Nov. 12, Paluch led the team in scoring with a season-best 17 points. She was 8 of 9 from the field, including a perfect 5 for 5 in the first half.

-Paluch scored 15 second-half points in the 86-80 win over Georgetown Nov. 15, and in the victory over Northern Iowa Nov. 17, she led the Jackrabbits with 16 points, including a career-tying four three-pointers.

-For the season, Paluch leads South Dakota State in scoring (13.8) and is second in assists (2.8). She is shooting 57.1 percent from the field, 53.8 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.

Career Highs

-Sophomore Chloe Cornemann scored a career-high nine points in the win over Northern Iowa Nov. 17, bettering her previous mark of eight points set at Oakland, Jan. 10, 2013.

-Freshmen Kerri Young, Chyanna Stevens and Clarissa Ober registered career-best in the UNI win. Young had career highs with 13 points and three assists; Stevens with career bests with nine points and eight rebounds; and Ober with career highs with six rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals.

-Senior Steph Paluch tied her career high for three-pointers with four in the Northern Iowa win. She previously sank four vs. North Dakota State, Feb. 18, 2012.

From Three

-South Dakota State has been known for having a three-point specialist in the past, but this season 10 of 13 Jackrabbits have hit at least one three-pointer this season and five have four-or-more treys.

-Junior Megan Waytashek and senior Steph Paluch rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in the latest Summit League stats.

-As a team, SDSU is averaging 8.8 three-pointers per game (35 of 76) and shooting 46.1 percent. It ranks first in The Summit League in three-pointers and percentage.

High Scoring

-The Jackrabbits have scored 80-plus points in two outings this season. Last year, the Jacks had 80-or-more points in five games.

-SDSU is averaging 70.5 points per game.

Bench Points

-SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston knew he had a deep bench this year and the statistics agree.

-In the Jacks’ four games, the starters have scored 234 points (58.5%) and the bench 127 points (31.7%).

-The SDSU bench had a break-out night in the Georgetown win Nov. 15, scoring 41 of the Jacks’ 86 points. Junior Megan Stuart had 23 points and senior Tara Heiser 14 points off the bench.

-A few times in the first half vs. the Hoyas, the SDSU bench had more points than the entire Georgetown team.

-Stuart’s 23 points off the bench vs. Georgetown were the most points scored by a reserve since Jill Young tallied 23 against Oral Roberts in the first round of the 2009 Summit League Championship.

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