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Photo by: Inertia Sports Media/Dave Eggen

Jacks Wear Pink vs. Western Illinois Saturday

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/14/2014 15:59:00

            After returning to the win column Thursday, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (18-8, 9-1) hosts another upset-minded team in Western Illinois (13-11, 5-4) at 4 p.m. in the friendly confines of Frost Arena.

            Sporting a 15-game home winning streak, the Jacks had four players score in double digits in their 71-60 win over Omaha Thursday. Junior Mariah Clarin posted a career-high 18 points, and classmate Gabby Boever grabbed a personal-best 10 rebounds.

            Western Illinois, currently in third place in The Summit League standings, has a three-game winning streak after coming from behind to beat North Dakota State, 76-68, Thursday in Fargo. Sophomore Ashley Luke led four Leathernecks in double figures in scoring with a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds.

            SDSU is ranked 16th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll, dropping one spot from last week.

            As part of the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign, the Jackrabbits are wearing pink jerseys Saturday. The Under Armour jerseys will be placed on an online auction at GoJacks.com after the game through noon Feb. 28, with all proceeds benefitting Colleges Against Cancer.

TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS

Radio - Audio coverage via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com with play-by-play commentator Tyler Merriam and former Jackrabbit Jill Sargent with the color commentary.

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JACKRABBIT STORYLINES

-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 four games, the Jacks would earn the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Summit League Championship because of their higher RPI ranking.

-The Jackrabbits will be protecting the nation’s 12th-longest home win streak (15). The last time SDSU lost in the friendly confines of Frost Arena was vs. IUPUI Jan. 19, 2013.

-The last time the Jackrabbits won 15 consecutive home games was between Nov. 17, 2008, and Nov. 13, 2009. The last time the Jacks won more than 15 consecutive regular-season home games was between Feb. 7, 1987 and ended Feb. 16, 1988, when the Jacks won 16.

-SDSU is 5-0 in league play at home and is 12-0 in Frost Arena this season.

-South Dakota State is 40-6 all-time (.869 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 third series sweep of the season Saturday. The Jackrabbits won the first meeting at Western Illinois, 67-66, Jan. 16. Since then, the Jacks have won six of their last seven games and the Leathernecks are 4-4.

-The Jackrabbits are 6-0 vs. the Leathernecks in Frost Arena.

-Western Illinois is 5-5 on the road, including 3-1 in league play, this season. It has won two of its last three road games.

-SDSU enters the contest averaging 73.4 points per game in league contests while limiting its opponents to 63.4 points per game. The Leathernecks average 74 points in Summit League games, and give up a league-leading 71.7 points per outing.

A QUICK GLANCE AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. Western Illinois are senior Hannah Strop (3.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (8.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.1 ppg, 2.5 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg). The lineup sports a 16-7 record.

-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 15 of 26 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 40.6 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 69 points per game and limiting opponents to 65.7 points per game.

-The Jacks have a deep squad with nine players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 28.9 points per outing this season.

WESTERN ILLINOIS

-Western Illinois is 13-11 overall, 5-4 in Summit League play, and has a modest three-game winning streak entering Saturday’s game. On the road, WIU is 5-5 overall and 3-1 in league play.

-The Fighting Leathernecks are in third in The Summit League standings, four games behind first place SDSU and IUPUI.

-WIU has three players averaging double figures in scoring. Sophomore forward Ashley Luke leads the team (19.4) and is third in the Summit League in scoring (19.6), while sophomore guard Michelle Maher and junior guard Tori Niemann are scoring 14 and 13.3 points per game, respectively.

-Luke grabs a league-leading and team-high 10.5 rebounds per game while senior guard Rebecca Henricson dishes a team-best 5.2 assists per game.

-Western Illinois is shooting 44.5 percent from the field, 31.2 percent from three-point range and 69.1 percent from the free-throw line.

-The Fighting Leathernecks lead The Summit League in steals (10.3) and are second in three-pointers (7.3) and assists (17.8).

WESTERN ILLINOIS SERIES

-Saturday’s game will be the 15th meeting between SDSU and Western Illinois in women’s basketball action, and the Jacks lead the series 13-1.

-The Fighting Leathernecks won the initial meeting, 67-60, Jan. 14, 2008, in Macomb, Ill., but SDSU has since gone on to win the last 13 meetings, including all six in Frost Arena. 

-SDSU has won all six games in Frost Arena by at least 25 points.

-Junior Megan Waytashek averages 23 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in her three games vs. the Fighting Leathernecks. Classmate Gabby Boever averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in five outings against Western Illinois. Forward Mariah Clarin averages 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the field in five games vs. WIU.

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