Jacks Return to Action Sunday
After its longest break of the season, seven days, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (9-5) returns to action Sunday when it travels to Little Rock, Ark., to take on UALR (4-5) at 2 p.m. in the Stephens Center.
The Jackrabbits had a five-game winning streak snapped, losing 59-44, at Middle Tennessee State Dec. 21.
The Trojans have lost their last two outings, falling at Louisiana Tech, 50-39, Dec. 20.
South Dakota State is ranked 17th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll while UALR is receiving votes.
TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS
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-South Dakota State plays the second game of a three-game road trip Sunday. The Jackrabbits are 1-3 on the road this season.
-The Jackrabbits are making their second trip to Arkansas after beating UALR in 2011.
-SDSU enters the contest looking to score more points than it did in its previous four road games. The Jacks average 56.5 points on the road while the Trojans score at a 67.5 clip in the Stephens Center.
-UALR is 3-1 on its home court after it had a three-game home winning streak ended by Louisiana Tech Dec. 20.
-UALR is a defensive-minded team, allowing opponents just 58.3 points per game. None of its foes have scored more than 72 points this season, including No. 13 LSU, which scored just 58 in its win over ULAR Dec. 15.
A Quick Glance at South Dakota State
-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. UALR are senior Hannah Strop (3.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (8.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (12.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (5.6 ppg, 3.2 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg). The lineup sports a 8-5 record.
-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 10 of 14 games, and seven other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games. Waytashek, junior Megan Stuart and freshman Kerri Young have SDSU’s only 20-plus point games this season. Clarin recorded the Jacks’ second double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds at Wis.-Green Bay Dec. 7.
-SDSU is shooting 40.5 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from three-point range and 70.8 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 68.8 points per game and limiting opponents to 65.3 points per game.
-The Jacks have a deep squad with 10 players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 28.9 points per outing this season.
-UALR is 4-5 on the season after losing its last two outings, 58-51 vs. No. 13 LSU Dec. 15 and 50-39 at Louisiana Tech Dec. 20. The LSU loss was the first home loss for the Trojans in the Stephens Center this year.
-The Sun Belt Conference coaches selected UALR to win the league in their annual preseason poll. Senior guard Taylor Ford and junior guard Taylor Gault were picked as All-Sun Belt First Team members.
-The Trojans have three players averaging double figures in scoring. Gault leads the team, scoring 12.7 points per outing. Freshman forward Shanity James and sophomore forward Kiera Clark average 10.7 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. On the boards, James grabs a team-best 5.7 rebounds. Ford dishes a team-high 4.7 assists.
-UALR is shooting 37.8 percent from the field, 29.3 percent from three-point range and 68.4 percent from the free-throw line.
-The Trojans return all five starters, 8 letterwinners, and adds six newcomers.
-Sunday’s game will be the third meeting between SDSU and UALR. The Jackrabbits hold a 2-0 series lead.
-Both games of the series were played within a 10-day span in 2011. The first meeting Dec. 6 in Little Rock, had South Dakota State winning, 60-49. On Dec. 16 in Brookings, the Jackrabbits won, 64-55.
-Senior Steph Paluch, who has played in both games vs. the Trojans, averaged 7.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Junior Mariah Clarin averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds coming off the bench in both wins.