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Senior Day Saturday

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/21/2014 10:37:57

            The South Dakota State University women’s basketball team (19-8, 10-1) ends the home portion of its regular-season schedule Saturday at 4 p.m., hosting longtime rival North Dakota State (6-20, 2-9) in Summit League action in the friendly confines of Frost Arena.

            Saturday will also be Senior Day at South Dakota State. Jackrabbit seniors Hannah Strop, Tara Heiser and Steph Paluch will be honored prior to the game.

            The league-leading Jackrabbits enter the contest a game ahead of IUPUI after the Jaguars lost at South Dakota Feb. 15 and now stand at 9-2 in The Summit League and 19-7 overall.

            SDSU won its 16th consecutive regular-season home game Feb. 15 with a come-from-behind victory over Western Illinois, 83-79. Five Jacks scored in double figures, led by Mariah Clarin’s, Steph Paluch’s and Tara Heiser’s 14-point performances.

            North Dakota State lost its fourth consecutive game Feb. 15, falling to Omaha, 68-57. Marena Whittle posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

            SDSU is ranked 15th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll, moving up one spot from last week.

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 secured either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the upcoming Summit League Championship with a win Feb. 15. The Jacks are alone atop the league standings again after IUPUI was upset at South Dakota in Vermillion Feb. 15.

-The Jackrabbits will be protecting the nation’s eighth-longest home win streak (16). The last time SDSU lost in the friendly confines of Frost Arena was vs. IUPUI Jan. 19, 2013.

-SDSU’s 16-game regular-season home win streak is tied for the third longest in school history. The last time the Jacks won more than 16 consecutive home games was between Jan. 15, 2007, and Nov. 13, 2009, when it won 35.

-With their win Feb. 15, the Jackrabbits have won 10-or-more Summit League games in seven consecutive seasons. With a win Saturday, the Jacks would record their 17th 20-win season since the program began in 1966-67 and their eighth 20-plus win season since turning Division I in 2004-05.

-SDSU is 6-0 in league play at home and is 13-0 in Frost Arena this season.

-South Dakota State is 41-6 all-time (.872 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 fourth series sweep of the season Saturday. The Jackrabbits won the first meeting at North Dakota State, 73-53, Jan. 25. Since then, the Jacks have won six of their last seven games and the Bison are 1-6.

-The Jackrabbits are 21-14 vs. the Bison in Frost Arena.

-North Dakota State is 1-9 on the road, including 1-3 in league play, this season. Its last road win came Jan. 18 when it upset Western Illinois, 83-77.

-SDSU enters the contest averaging 74.3 points per game in league contests while limiting its opponents to 64.8 points per game. The Bison average 63.9 points in Summit League games, and give up a 75 points per outing.

A QUICK GLANCE AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. North Dakota State are senior Hannah Strop (4.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (8.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.3 ppg, 2.5 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (10 ppg, 2.5 rpg). The lineup sports a 17-7 record.

-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 15 of 27 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, 32.1 percent from three-point range and 72.8 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 69.5 points per game and limiting opponents to 66.2 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.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE

-North Dakota State is 6-20 overall, 2-9 in Summit League play and has lost its last four games, including a 68-57 loss to Omaha Feb. 15. On the road, NDSU is 1-9 overall and 1-3 in league play.

-North Dakota State University director of women’s athletics Lynn Dorn announced Thursday that women’s basketball coach Carolyn DeHoff would resign effective April 15. DeHoff is in her sixth year at NDSU with a 72-101 record.

-The Bison have three players averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Brooke LeMar leads the team in scoring (15.4) while sophomore forwards Marena Whittle and Holly Johnson are scoring 12.5 and 12 points per game, respectively.

-Whittle grabs a team-high 7.0 rebounds while LeMar dishes a team-best 5.1 assists per game.

-North Dakota State is shooting 39.3 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from three-point range and 74.5 percent from the free-throw line.

-In Summit League play, the Bison are second in assists to turnover ratio (1.0) and third in rebounding (37.5), defensive rebounds (24.6) and turnover margin (+1.3).

NORTH DAKOTA STATE SERIES

-Saturday’s game will be the 79th meeting between SDSU and NDSU in women’s basketball, and the Jacks lead the series, 40-38.

-South Dakota State beat North Dakota State in the first meeting this year. The Jacks won 73-53 in Fargo, Jan. 25. Freshman Kerri Young scored a career-high 23 points in the win.

-The teams were longtime rivals at the NCAA Division II level in the North Central Conference and now continue at the Division I level as members of The Summit League.

-The Jackrabbits have closed the gap considerably during the Division I era, holding a 15-4 advantage. The Bison ushered in the Division I era by sweeping the initial season series between the two squads during the 2004-05 season. SDSU then won 10 consecutive meetings until NDSU recorded a 78-71 victory in the 2010-11 Summit League opener Dec. 4, 2010, at Frost Arena. The current Jackrabbit winning streak in the series stands at seven.

-Junior Megan Waytashek averages 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6.5 assists, while shooting 60 percent from the field, 56 percent from three-point range and is 15 for 15 from the foul line in her three games vs. the Bison. Junior Mariah Clarin averages 8.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in her five outings against NDSU.

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