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Photo by: Inertia Sports Media/Dave Eggen

Jackrabbits Take Hot Start to Macomb

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/25/2014 12:07:05

            BROOKINGS, S.D. — Sitting atop The Summit League standings, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (11-7, 2-0) begins a three-game road swing Thursday when it travels to Macomb, Ill., to take on Western Illinois (9-7, 1-0) at 7 p.m. in Western Hall.

            The Jackrabbits sport a modest two-game winning streak after defeating Fort Wayne, 77-60, in the friendly confines of Frost Arena Jan. 11.

            The Fighting Leathernecks enter Thursday’s game on a four-game winning streak after winning at Omaha, 84-62, in their Summit League season opener Jan. 11.

            South Dakota State is ranked 24th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll.


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-South Dakota State leads The Summit League with a 2-0 record. The Jacks also started 2-0 the last two seasons. The 2012-13 team opened league play 6-0 and the 2011-12 squad went 4-0.

-SDSU looks to snap a three-game road losing streak. Its last road win was a 66-54 victory at Wisconsin-Green Bay Dec. 7, 2013. The Jackrabbits are 1-5 on the road this season.

-South Dakota State is 36-11 all-time (.765 winning percentage) on the road in Summit League contests. The last time it lost a league road game was at IUPUI Feb. 14, 2013.

-Western Illinois is 5-3 at home this season, and has won it last two games in Western Hall.

-SDSU enters the contest averaging 70 points per game in league contests while limiting its opponents to 58.5 points per game. The Fighting Leathernecks average 90.5 points in their home games, and give up 67 points per outing.


-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. Western Illinois are senior Hannah Strop (3.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (7.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.0 ppg, 2.7 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg). The lineup sports a 9-6 record.

-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 10 of 18 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 40.3 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range and 69.9 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 66.7 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 29.3 points per outing this season.


-Western Illinois 9-7 overall, 1-0 in Summit League play and 5-3 at home this season after beating Omaha, 84-62, on the road Jan. 11.

-The Fighting Leathernecks were picked sixth in The Summit League’s annual preseason poll. Sophomore forward Ashley Luke was named to the preseason first team.

-WIU has three players averaging double figures in scoring. Luke leads the team and is second in the Summit League in scoring (19.9), while sophomore guard Michelle Maher and junior guard Tori Niemann are scoring 13.5 and 12.9 points per game, respectively.

-Luke grabs a league-leading and team-high 11.1 rebounds per game while senior guard Rebecca Henricson dishes a team-best 5.5 assists per game.

-Western Illinois is shooting 45 percent from the field, 31.5 percent from three-point range and 70.3 percent from the free-throw line.

-The Fighting Leathernecks return three starters, six letterwinners and adds six newcomers.


-Thursday’s game will be the 14th meeting between SDSU and Western Illinois in women’s basketball action, and the Jacks lead the series 12-1.

-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 12 meetings, including the last four at Western Illinois. 

-Junior Megan Waytashek averaged 11.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in her two games vs. the Fighting Leathernecks. Classmate Gabby Boever averaged 5.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in four outings against Western Illinois.

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