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Jacks Host Northern Iowa Sunday

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/17/2013 11:49:40

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- With a modest four-game home winning streak on the line, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (1-2) hosts Missouri Valley Conference opponent Northern Iowa (1-1) at 2 p.m. today in the friendly confines of Frost Arena.

      The Jackrabbits won their home opener and snapped a three-game losing streak, dating to last season, with an 86-80 over Georgetown Friday. The Panthers have been idle since Tuesday after beating North Dakota, 61-56.

      SDSU entered the week ranked 24th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll (Nov. 12).

Media Coverage

      Audio and video coverage of today’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 J.J. Hartigan 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 and KGFX 92.7 FM in Pierre.

Setting the Scene

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

-SDSU sports a 394-104 all-time record on its home court.

-Northern Iowa plays its third game at South Dakota State after the Jacks beat the Panthers in 2009-10 and 2007-08 in Frost Arena.

A Quick Glance at South Dakota State

-For the fourth consecutive game, head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters are senior forward Hannah Strop (3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (6.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (13 ppg, 2.3 apg), Gabrielle Boever (5.3 ppg, 5.3 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (13 ppg, 2.6 apg). The lineup sports a 1-2 record.

-Waytashek is the only Jackrabbit to score in double figures in the first three games, but five other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games.

-SDSU is shooting 39.5 percent from the field, 44.2 percent from three-point range and 68.3 percent from the free-throw line.

A Glance at Northern Iowa

-The Panthers are 1-1 on the season after losing their home opener to Minnesota, 73-55, Nov. 12, and beating North Dakota, 61-56, Tuesday.

-Stephanie Davison leads the team in scoring, averaging 17 points per game. Jen Keitel is grabbing a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game.

-Northern Iowa is shooting 30.6 percent from the field, 23.7 percent from three-point range and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line.

-The Panthers finished with records of 17-17 overall and 10-8 in the league last year, and fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference.  Northern Iowa reached the second round of the Women’s NIT, defeating Marquette, 61-59, but losing to Ball State, 53-48.

-The Panthers were picked to finish third in the preseason Missouri Valley Conference coaches poll.

-Northern Iowa returns four starters, nine letterwinners and six freshmen.

-SDSU is 4-3 vs. Northern Iowa and 8-6 vs. Missouri Valley Conference teams.

The Series

-Today’s game vs. Northern Iowa marks the eighth meeting between the Jackrabbits and the Panthers.

-South Dakota State holds a 4-3 series lead.  The Jacks are 2-2 vs. the Panthers in Frost. SDSU won the last game at home, 71-58 on Dec. 28, 2012.

-In last year’s meeting in Cedar Falls, the Jacks shot 71.4 percent from the field in the second half and ended the game on a 10-0 run to beat Northern Iowa, 61-49. Megan Waytashek scored a game-high 23 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including 3 of 5 from three-point range.

-SDSU is 8-6 vs. Missouri Valley teams.

Last Meeting

-Nov. 8, 2012 -- South Dakota State 61, Northern Iowa 49

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - South Dakota State shot 71.4 percent from the field in the second half and ended the game on a 10-0 run to push past Northern Iowa, 61-49, in nonconference women’s basketball action.

      Trailing 33-26 early in the second half, SDSU regained the lead with its first 10-0 run of the stanza behind the play of Megan Waytashek. The wing from Lino Lakes, Minn., drew SDSU within one at 33-32 on a three-pointer and put the Jackrabbits ahead 36-33 with a basket inside the paint.       

      The game would be tied four times down the stretch, the last at 45-all, before Katie Lingle gave the Jackrabbits the lead for good at 47-45 with a basket in the lane. A three-pointer by Waytashek put SDSU up by four before Jacqui Kalin's jumper pulled the Panthers back to within two at 51-49 with 4:58 to play.

      SDSU dominated the rest of the way as Ashley Eide jump-started the decisive run with a three-pointer, followed by a Waytashek basket. The Jackrabbits delivered the knockout blow as Leah Dietel scored off a side-court inbounds play from Lingle with one second on the shot clock.

      Waytashek got the Jackrabbits off to a good start by scoring the team's first seven points. A Rachel Walters’ three-pointer gave SDSU its largest lead of the first half at 12-8.

      However, the Jackrabbits went scoreless over the next nine minutes as UNI gained the lead. The Panthers led by as many as eight points, 22-14, before the Jackrabbits gained a measure of momentum with a 7-0 run to pull back to within a point late in the half. UNI scored the final five points of the opening frame to lead 27-21 at intermission.

      Waytashek finished with 23 points. Eide tallied 15 and Lingle added 12. 

      SDSU made 15 of 21 attempts from the field in the second half to finish the afternoon 23 of 48 overall, for a season-best 47.9 percent. The Jackrabbits were 7 of 18 on three-point attempts, but only 8 of 5, for 53.3 percent at the free-throw line.

      The Jackrabbits dominated in the rebounding department, holding a 42-27 advantage on the boards. Point guard Gabby Boever recorded a team-best eight rebounds to lead SDSU.   

      UNI, which missed its last eight shots from the field, ended the day 19 of 56 from the floor for 33.9 percent. The Panthers made only 4 of 21 long-range attempts and were 7 of 11 at the line.

Coaching Connections

-South Dakota State assistant women’s basketball coach Katie (Miller) Falco was a standout player at Northern Iowa from 1999-2003, ending her career fifth on the career scoring charts with 1,343 points.

-A first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference performer in 2003, she finished second in the league with 18.2 points per game in leading the Panthers to their second Women’s NIT appearance in three years. She set a UNI record for career free throws made with 411 and free-throw percentage at 82.4 percent. Additionally, Falco made a MVC-record 53 consecutive free throws during her freshman season.

-Falco was a Panther when current Northern Iowa head coach Tanya Warren was an assistant coach.

Last Outing

-Nov. 15, 2013 -- South Dakota State 86, Georgetown 80

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Junior Megan Stuart scored a career- and game-high 23 points to lead four South Dakota State players in double figures in an 86-80 win over Georgetown University (1-1) Friday in front of 1,806 fans in Frost Arena.

      Stuart was 10 of 11 from the field and became the first Jackrabbit reserve to score 23 points off the bench since Jill Young tallied 23 against Oral Roberts in the first round of the 2009 Summit League Championship.

      Junior Megan Waytashek scored 16 points, senior Steph Paluch added 15 second-half points, and classmate Tara Heiser came off the bench to tie her career high with 14 points.

      South Dakota State had a 43-32 lead at halftime and pushed it to a 15-point lead at 11:49 remaining in the game before Georgetown used a 9-0 run to pull within six points, 60-54.

      The Jackrabbits regained a 10-point lead on a pair of free throws from junior Gabby Boever, but the Hoyas cut the lead to three points, 66-63 with 7:22 left.

      Georgetown got to within two points twice, 71-69, and 73-71, but senior Hannah Strop’s three-pointer at 2:31 gave the Jacks a five-plus point lead the remainder of the game. SDSU went 10 for 10 from the free-throw line in the final two-plus minutes for the win.

      Freshman Clarissa Ober and Waytashek led the Jacks with five rebounds apiece. Waytashek also tied her career high in assists with a game-high six. Boever also dished out six.

      Natalie Butler’s 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Shayla Cooper’s 15 points and 10 boards paced Georgetown.

A SDSU Win Today Would...

...give it its second consecutive win over Northern Iowa and third in Frost Arena.

...extend the Jacks’ home winning streak to five.

...extend its series lead over the Panthers to 5-3.

...give it a 9-6 record vs. the Missouri Valley Conference.

...be head coach Aaron Johnston’s 317th career victory.

Career Highs

-Junior Megan Stuart scored a career- and game-high 23 points vs. Georgetown Friday, shattering her previous mark of 11 points set vs. Fort Wayne, Mar. 11, 2013.

nIn her first action of the year, senior Tara Heiser came off the bench to tie her career mark in points with 14. The guard also had 14 points vs. Utah Valley Nov. 12, 2010.

-Junior Megan Waytashek tied her career high for assists with six vs. Georgetown. She previously dished out six assists at North Dakota State Mar. 2, 2013.

Bench Points

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

-In the Jacks’ first three games, the starters have scored 202 points (72.1%) and the bench 79 points (28%).

-The SDSU bench had a break out night in the Georgetown win, 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.

Jackrabbits Attendance Mark

nSince the Johnston era began in 2000-01, South Dakota State has averaged 2,266 fans per game.

nSDSU averaged 1,554 fans in its two exhibition games after averaging 2,208 last season during the regular season.

Tough Nonconference Schedule

-South Dakota State’s nonconference schedule has seven fellow NCAA tournament qualifiers on it, including top-20 squads Stanford, Notre Dame and Penn State.

-Stanford, Notre Dame and Penn State are ranked in the USA Today Sports/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll and the Associated Press Poll. Additionally, three other foes are ranked in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

-The Jackrabbits’ schedule includes games vs. No. 5/3 Stanford, No. 6/6 Notre Dame and No. 15/13 Penn State. They face the Cardinal Nov. 28 in the Puerto Vallarta Hardwood Tournament of Hope, Penn State at home Dec. 11 and Notre Dame Jan. 2 in South Bend, Ind.

-Two other South Dakota State opponents received votes in the polls: Wisconsin-Green Bay (12/51) and Middle Tennessee State (10/8).

-In the Mid-Major poll, Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 7) is ranked second and UALR (Dec. 29) is 15th.

Four Sign National Letters of Intent

-Head coach Aaron Johnston announced four members of the high school Class of 2014 have signed national letters of intent to play for the Jackrabbits next season.

-Signing the first day of the early signing period, were:

- Alexis Alexander, 5-7, guard, Brooklyn Park, Minn. (Champlin Park High School)

- Macy Miller, 5-10, guard, Mitchell, S.D. (Mitchell High School)

- Kaitlyn Severyn, 6-0, guard, Pierre, S.D. (Pierre T.F. Riggs High School)

- Ellie Thompson, 6-1, forward, Chaska, Minn. (Chaska High School)

Boever Climbing Career Steals List

-Junior Gabrielle Boever is climbing the career steals chart after making 155 steals her first two seasons.

-The guard currently has 165 steals and trails Jodi Bergemann (1990-91 to 1993-94) and Holly Sallden (1990-91 to 1993-94) for 11th place on the career list.

Climbing the Charts

-Head coach Aaron Johnston is currently climbing the Summit League coaches charts.

-Johnston leads the league in career winning percentage (144-53, .730) and Summit League winning percentage (88-17, .838) and is sixth in overall victories (144) and Summit League victories (88).

857 and Counting

-SDSU’s victory over Oakland on Dec. 29, 2011, was the 800th in the women’s basketball program’s history. Since starting women’s basketball at South Dakota State in 1966-67 with a 6-0 mark, the Jacks have compiled an overall record of 857-380 (.692 winning percentage).

-In addition, SDSU sealed its 27th consecutive winning season between competing at the NCAA Division II and Division I levels during the 2012-13 season. The Jackrabbits’ last losing season was an 11-16 campaign during the 1985-86 season.

192 D-I wins

Since moving to the NCAA Division I ranks at the start of the 2004-05 season, the Jackrabbits have posted a winning record against D-I opponents. In its nine seasons, SDSU has compiled a 192-76 mark (.716 winning percentage) vs. D-I opposition. The Jackrabbits have posted victories over 60 different Division I teams representing 21 conferences, plus independents.

Tough at Home

-The Jackrabbits women’s basketball team has gained a decisive home-court advantage at Frost Arena over the past decade.

-In his tenure as Jackrabbits head coach, Aaron Johnston has led the Jackrabbits to a 160-25 record (.864 winning percentage) at Frost Arena, including a 105-13 mark (.889 winning pct.) at home during the Division I era. The Jackrabbits have put together home winning streaks of 15, 15 and 22 in the process.

-Since the start of the 2001-02 season, SDSU has a 149-20 home record (.881 winning percentage), losing an average of fewer than two games at Frost Arena each season. The Jackrabbits capped the 2008-09 regular season with a 14-0 record -- a mark that stands as the first undefeated home season in school history.

-A loss to Western Kentucky early in the 2009-10 campaign snapped a 35-game regular-season home winning streak, as well as a 15-game overall winning streak that began after SDSU lost to Creighton in the first round of the 2008 Women's NIT.

-SDSU’s loss to Oral Roberts on Jan. 4, 2010, marked its first home loss to a Summit League opponent.

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