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South Dakota State vs. South Dakota Round 3

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 03/09/2014 17:34:54

             After winning its fifth Summit League regular season title, top-seeded South Dakota State (22-8 overall, 13-1 Summit League) begins its quest for a sixth consecutive Summit League Championship title today when it takes on No. 4 seed South Dakota (17-13, 7-7) at noon in Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D.

            The Jackrabbits earned their No. 1 seed in the four-day tournament by winning their last five games and claiming their fifth regular-season title with a 13-1 record. The Coyotes advanced to the semifinals with a 96-94 come-from-behind win over No. 5 Western Illinois Sunday. The Yotes’ Raeshel Contreras made the game-winning shot with three seconds left.

            Should South Dakota State advance to the finals, it will face the winner of the No. 2 IUPUI vs. No. 6 Denver game Tuesday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.

TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS

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

WNAX 570 AM - Flagship
KJJQ 910 AM
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KGFX 92.7 FM
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Live VideoMidco Sports Net/Fox College Sports Central

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Jackrabbit Athletics - @SDSU_Jacks
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Jackrabbit Athletics: SDSU Jackrabbit Nation
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CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS

The following is a look at the pairings and schedule for the women’s bracket of the 2014 Summit League Championship:

Saturday, March 8
• No. 2 IUPUI 72, No. 7 North Dakota State 64
Sunday, March 9
• No. 4 South Dakota 96, No. 5 Western Illinois, 94
• No. 6 Denver 79, No. 3 Fort Wayne 73
Monday, March 10
• No. 1 South Dakota State vs. No. 4 South Dakota, Noon
• No. 2 IUPUI vs. No. 6 Denver, 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 11
• Championship Game, 1 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

- The Jackrabbits have made the most of their home-state advantage in The Summit League Championship, winning the championship title in Sioux Falls each of the five years they have been eligible for NCAA postseason consideration.

- SDSU is a perfect 15-0 in Summit League Championship games, claiming the 2009, 2012 and 2013 titles as the top seed and both the 2010 and 2011 championships as the third seed.

SETTING THE SCENE

- Today’s game is a rematch of last year’s Summit League Championship title game.

- Summit League regular-season champion South Dakota State begins its journey to the tourney when it converges on Sioux Falls, S.D., for the 22nd annual Summit League Championship at the Sioux Falls Arena.

- The Jackrabbits, who earned the No. 1 seed at the championship for the third consecutive season, plays the winner of Sunday’s game between No. 4 South Dakota and No. 5 Western Illinois. South Dakota State swept both teams during the regular-season.

- South Dakota State recorded its third consecutive 20-win season and eighth since moving to Division I in 2004-05. Its 13-1 league wins marks the seventh-straight season it has won 10-or-more league games.

- The last time SDSU finished with just one loss in Summit League play was 2008-09 when the Jacks posted a 17-1 regular-season record. The 1993-94 Northern Illinois squad (18-0) is the only other team to have fewer losses in a Summit League schedule.

- The Jackrabbits will be protecting a five-game win streak, currently the 23rd longest in the NCAA, going into The Summit League Championship. Their last loss this season was at IUPUI Feb. 8.

- South Dakota State is 1-2 in neutral site games this season. It is also 33-11 all-time, including 16-2 vs. Division I teams. 

- SDSU and South Dakota have met once in the championship, the 2012-13 title game which the Jacks won 56-53.

- SDSU is ranked 11th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll, moving up one spot from last week.

A QUICK GLANCE AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

- Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters in the semifinals are senior Hannah Strop (4.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (9.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.3 ppg, 2.5 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (10 ppg, 2.4 rpg). The lineup sports a 19-7 record.

- Waytashek has scored in double figures in 17 of 30 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 41 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from three-point range and 73.9 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 70.7 points per game and limiting opponents to 66.1 points per outing.

- The Jacks have a deep squad with nine players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 29.7 points per outing this season.

SOUTH DAKOTA

- South Dakota enters today’s game having won four of its last five games.

- In their quarterfinal win over Western Illinois Sunday, the Yotes shot 54.8 percent from the field in the second half and five players scored in double figures, including 26 from junior Nicole Seekamp.

- South Dakota has three players averaging double figures in scoring. Seekamp leads the team in scoring (15.3). Junior guard Raeshel Contreras and Polly Harrington are scoring 13.4 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.

- Tia Hemiller grabs a team-high 6.3 rebounds and Seekamp dishes a team-best 3.8 assists per game.

- The Coyotes are shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 74.9 percent from the free-throw line.

SOUTH DAKOTA SERIES

- Monday’s game marks the 76th meeting in women’s basketball, dating to a 35-26 Jackrabbit victory during the 1966-67 season—SDSU’s first season as a varsity program.

- Overall, the Jackrabbits hold a 53-22 series advantage, winning 34 of the last 37 meetings. SDSU won the first 14 games in the series before the Coyotes won 19 of 24 matchups between the 1977-78 and 1990-91 seasons. The Jackrabbits followed with 21 consecutive victories to start their recent run of success.

- SDSU had won six meetings in a row starting with an 87-63 victory in the championship game of the 2003 NCAA Division II North Central Regional at Frost Arena. However, that streak came to an end in 2012 as the two squads split the series in their first year together as members of The Summit League.

- The Jackrabbits currently have a five-game winning streak after sweeping the regular-season series 88-69, Feb. 1 in Frost Arena and 99-88, March 2 in Vermillion.

- Junior Megan Waytashek averages 16.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in her five games vs. South Dakota. Classmate Gabby Boever averages 9.0 points and 2.1 steals per game in her seven meetings with the Coyotes. She is shooting 57.1 percent (24 of 42) from the floor, including 57.9 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 19).

LAST MEETING

March 2, 2014 — South Dakota State 99, South Dakota 88

VERMILLION, S.D. – Led by five players scoring in double figures, South Dakota State University closed the 2013-14 regular season with a season-high 99 points as the Jackrabbits downed the University of South Dakota 99-88 at the DakotaDome.
            Megan Waytashek led five Jackrabbits in double figures as she scored a game-high 18 points, 14 coming in the second half. Mariah Clarin added 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Gabby Boever scored 14 points, highlighted by a career-high tying three three-point field goals. Steph Paluch added 13 points. Clarissa Ober scored a career-high 12 points coming off the bench.
            The Jackrabbits built an eight-point lead, 26-18, with 9:03 left in the first half when Chloe Cornemann sank a three-pointer. SDSU took a 47-42 lead at half as Clarin scored 11 points and Paluch netted nine.
            USD opened the second half with an 8-2 run to take its first lead, 50-49, after a conventional three-point play by Lisa Loeffler with 17:39 remaining. Loeffler later gave the Coyotes a 53-51 lead with 16:53 left. USD opened the game making 22 consecutive foul shots.
            Waytashek tied the score and Ober sank her second three-pointer to give the Jackrabbits a 56-53 lead with 15:59 remaining. SDSU never trailed again.
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