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Photo by: Inertia Sports Media/Dave Eggen

Jacks Host NJIT Tonight in Frost Arena

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 12/02/2013 11:39:28

      Protecting a six-game home winning streak, the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (4-4) returns to the friendly confines of Frost Arena when it hosts NJIT tonight at 7 p.m.
      The Jackrabbits will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak after finishing 1-2 in the Puerto Vallarta Hardwood Tournament of Hope last week. SDSU beat TCU, 57-52, Nov. 27, lost to No;. 6/5 Stanford, 80-60, Nov. 28 and lost to Florida Gulf Coast, 84-59, Nov. 29.
      NJIT snapped a two-game losing streak this past weekend, beating Bucknell, 61-59, on Nov. 30.
      SDSU entered the week ranked 25th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top 25 poll (Nov. 26).

Media Coverage
      Audio coverage of the tournament 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, 1490 AM in Mitchell, KBRK 93.7 FM in Brookings and KGFX 92.7 FM in Pierre.

Setting the Scene
-South Dakota State will be looking to return to the win column tonight and hopes coming back home will help. The Jacks are protecting a six-game home winning streak that dates to last season.
-SDSU needs to step up its defense after allowing foes to average 82 points per game in the last two outings, while scoring just 58.7 points per game overall.
-NJIT isn’t a high scoring team, putting up 57.2 points per game and allowing 64.2.
-The Jackrabbits also need to protect the ball after averaging 24 turnovers per game in Mexico.

A Quick Glance at South Dakota State
-For the ninth consecutive game, head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters are senior forward Hannah Strop (2.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (6.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (13.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (4.5 ppg, 3.6 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.8 ppg, 2.0 apg). The lineup sports a 4-4 record.
-Waytashek has scored in double figures in seven of eight games, and seven other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games. Waytashek and junior Megan Stuart have SDSU’s only 20-plus point games this season. Clarin recorded the Jacks’ first double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds vs. TCU. Nov. 27.
-SDSU is shooting 39.8 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range and 71.3 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 68.2 points per game and limiting opponents to 68 points per game.
nThe Jacks have a deep squad with 11 players averaging at least 13.5 minutes per game.

-NJIT is 2-6 on the season after snapping a two-game losing streak with a 61-59 win over Bucknell Nov. 30.
-Forward Shakia Robinson is leading NJIT in scoring (10.3) and is shooting 64.2 percent from the field. Junior point guard Alyssa Albanese is dishing out a team-best 3.5 assists per game. On the boards, senior forward Uju Nwankwo is grabbing a team-high 8.8 caroms.
-The Highlanders are shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 32.8 percent from three-point range and 61.9 percent from the free-throw line.
-NJIT finished with records of 16-15 overall and 6-2 in the Great West Conference, finishing second in the conference.
-The Highlanders return all five starters, nine letterwinners, and adds five freshmen.

The NJIT Series
-Tonight’s game marks the third meeting between South Dakota State and NJIT in women’s basketball, and the Jackrabbits hold a 2-0 series lead.
-The first meeting Oct. 29, 2007, in Frost Arena had the Jacks beating the Highlanders, 96-30. Megan Vogel led four Jackrabbits in double figures with a game-high 25 points.
-Later that same season, South Dakota State ended its regular season with a 72-47 win over NJIT. SDSU opened the game with a 20-2 run and coasted the rest of the game. Jennifer Warkenthien led the Jackrabbits in scoring and rebounding, collecting 18 points and nine rebounds.

Last Meeting
-Mar. 3, 2007 -- South Dakota State 72, NJIT 47
NEWARK, N.J. -- South Dakota State opened the game by building an 20-2 lead and coasted the rest of the way, defeating New Jersey Tech 72-47 in women’s basketball action as both teams wrapped up the regular season.
      The Jackrabbits, who won their 12th game in a row, completed a 23-5 regular season. SDSU also extended its winning streak against Division I independents to 18 games, completing its second consecutive undefeated season against fellow independents with an 11-0 mark during the 2006-07 season.
      SDSU built a 9-0 lead in the first three-plus minutes before NJIT got on the board with a basket by Jill Dickinson. The Jackrabbits then put together an 11-0 spurt as Jennifer Warkenthien scored six points and Megan Vogel added the other five in the run.
      The two squads traded baskets throughout most of the rest of the first half, with SDSU holding a 32-20 advantage at the break.
      The Jackrabbits scored the first seven points of the second half and built the lead to 22, 46-24, on a traditional three-point by Maria Boever at the 14:15 mark. SDSU would keep the lead at 20 or more points the rest of the way, leading by as many as 29 on four different occasions, the last at 62-33 with 6:45 left in the game.
      Warkenthien led the Jackrabbits in scoring and rebounding for the second straight game, collecting 18 points and nine boards. Boever added 13 points in a reserve role and Vogel, playing her last regular season game, added 10 points, five assists and four steals.
      SDSU shot 48.3 percent from the field, 28-of-58, including 4-for-18 from three-point range. The Jackrabbits made 12-of-18 free throw attempts for 66.7 percent.
      The Jackrabbits won the battle of the boards, 39-32.

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