Jacks Begin Final Homestand vs. Omaha
A setback is nothing but a setup for a comeback, and for the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (17-8, 8-1) that happens Thursday when it hosts Omaha (9-13, 1-7) at 7 p.m. in the friendly confines of Frost Arena.
Sporting a 14-game home winning streak, the Jacks look to return to the win column after having their eight-game win streak and four-game road win streak snapped at IUPUI, 76-66, Feb. 8. Junior Mariah Clarin recorded team bests of 13 points and five rebounds.
Omaha, currently in last place in The Summit League standings, has a six-game losing streak that started with an 80-66 loss to the Jackrabbits Jan. 18. The Mavericks lost at Western Illinois Jan. 6, 71-65. Five players scored in double figures, led by senior guard Ericka House who scored 15 points coming off the bench.
SDSU is ranked 16th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll, dropping one spot from last week.
TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS
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-South Dakota State has company atop The Summit League standings after losing its first league game since falling at IUPUI Feb. 14, 2013. Should both SDSU and IUPUI both win the remaining five games, the Jacks would earn the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Summit League Championship because of their higher RPI ranking.
-After having both its overall (8) and road (5) win streaks snapped last week, the Jackrabbits will protecting the nation’s 12th-longest home win streak (14).
-The last time the Jackrabbits won 15 consecutive home games was between Nov. 17, 2008, and Nov. 13, 2009.
-SDSU is 4-0 in league play at home and is 11-0 in Frost Arena this season.
-South Dakota State is 39-6 all-time (.866 winning percentage) in Frost Arena in Summit League contests. The last time it lost a league home game was vs. IUPUI Jan. 19, 2013.
-SDSU will be looking for its second series sweep of the season Thursday. The Jackrabbits won the first meeting at Omaha, 80-66, Jan. 18. Since then, the Jacks have won four of their last five games, and the Mavericks are 0-5.
-SDSU tied the 2002-03 NCAA Division II national champion Jackrabbit team for the best start in a league/conference schedule. Both teams opened with 8-0 records in The Summit League and the North Central Conference, respectively.
-The Jackrabbits are 18-11 vs. the Mavericks in Frost Arena and have won the last five.
-Omaha is 0-8 on the road, including 0-3 in league play, this season. It last won on the road was Feb. 2, 2013, 67-63 at Oakland.
-SDSU enters the contest averaging 73.7 points per game in league contests while limiting its opponents to 63.8 points per game. The Mavericks average 61.5 points in Summit League games, and give up a league-leading 73.6 points per outing.
A QUICK GLANCE AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. Omaha are senior Hannah Strop (4.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (8.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.2 ppg, 2.5 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg). The lineup sports a 15-7 record.
-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 14 of 25 games, and eight other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games. Waytashek, Paluch, junior Megan Stuart and freshman Kerri Young have SDSU’s only 20-plus point games this season. Waytashek registered the Jacks’ third double-double of the season with 23 points and 13 rebounds at Western Illinois Jan.16. Clarin recorded the team’s first two double-doubles.
-SDSU is shooting 40.8 percent from the field, 32.2 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 68.9 points per game and limiting opponents to 65.9 points per game.
-The Jacks have a deep squad with nine players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 29.2 points per outing this season.
-Omaha is 9-13 overall, 1-7 in Summit League play and has a six-game losing streak. On the road, it is 0-8 overall and 0-3 in league action.
-The Mavericks are currently in last place in The Summit League, but just one game behind North Dakota State for seventh.
-In its last outing, Omaha lost a 12-point lead at Western Illinois Feb. 6, losing 71-65.
-The Jackrabbits beat the Mavericks, 80-66 Jan. 18, in the first meeting between the two teams this year. SDSU is looking for its seventh consecutive series sweep of Omaha since the 2001-02 season.
-Senior guard Ericka House leads the Mavericks in scoring (17.1) while junior center Taijhe Kelly grabs a team-high 7.1 rebounds and freshman guard Madi Robson dishes a team-best 4.2 assists per game.
-Omaha is shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 30.9 percent from three-point range and 71.2 percent from the free-throw line.
-In Summit League play, the Mavericks lead the league in blocks (3.4) and are second in steals (9.9).
-The Feb. 13 game will be the 63rd meeting between SDSU and Omaha in women’s basketball. The series is tied at 31 after the Jackrabbits beat the Mavericks, 80-66 Jan. 18, in Omaha.
-The series started in 1976-77 with the Mavericks winning the first 13 games.
-The Jackrabbits broke into the win column with a 59-56 victory during the 1981-82 season and dominated the series late in the Division II era when both SDSU and UNO were members of the North Central Conference.
-SDSU won 20 of the 24 meetings between the 1992-93 and 2003-04 seasons. Since then, the Jacks have beaten Omaha 10 times.
-In the series, there has been one 100-point game and two overtime games. The Jacks beat the Mavs, 104-62 Jan. 10, 2004, in Frost Arena, but has lost both overtime games in Brookings, 92-85, Jan. 10, 1997, and 82-75, Feb. 2, 1979.
-Junior Megan Waytashek averages 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3.3 assists in three games vs. Omaha. Senior Hannah Strop averages 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 58.8 percent from the field in her three outings against the Mavericks.