Homestand Starts Against Nationally Ranked Foe
The Jackrabbits enter the game with a seven-game home winning streak, dating to last season. They also have a modest two-game winning streak after knocking off Wisconsin-Green Bay, 66-54, Dec. 7 in Wisconsin.
With the win over Green Bay, South Dakota State is now ranked 20th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll.
Making just their second road trip of the season, Penn State rebounded from a 77-67 loss to then-No. 5/4 Notre Dame Dec. 4 to beat Georgetown, 77-68, Dec. 8 in Washington. The Lady Lions other loss this season was to No. 1/1 Connecticut, 71-52, Nov. 17.
TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS
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-South Dakota State starts its second three-game homestand of the season tonight. It went 3-0 in November, beating Georgetown, Northern Iowa and Pepperdine.
-Penn State is the second nationally ranked opponent SDSU has faced this season after losing to then- No. 5/6 Stanford in the Puerto Vallarta Tournament of Hope Nov. 28.
-The Jacks look to snap a three-game losing streak to ranked opponents. The last time they beat a ranked foe was Nov. 18, 2012, when they defeated then- No. 15 Nebraska in Frost Arena.
-SDSU enters the contest holding opponents to just 56.2 points per game at home. Penn State scored 77 points in its only road contest Sunday at Georgetown.
-Penn State is the tallest team South Dakota State has faced this season. The Lady Lions have nine players taller than six foot and three over six foot five. The Jacks have nine players 6-foot or taller, including junior Megan Stuart and freshman Clarissa Ober who are the tallest at 6-foot-2.
-South Dakota State has 74 three-pointers this season, averaging 7.4 per game. Penn State, on the other hand, has made just 32 treys and is averaging only 4.0 a game. Senior guard Maggie Lucas has 20 of the treys. The Lady Lions play their game under the basket, averaging 34 points in the paint to SDSU’s 23.7 points in the paint.
A Quick Glance at South Dakota State
-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. Penn State are Strop (2.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (7.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (12.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (4.9 ppg, 3.3 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.2 ppg, 2.2 apg). The lineup sports a 5-4 record.
-Waytashek has scored in double figures in eight of 10 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’ second double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds at Wis.-Green Bay Dec. 7.
-SDSU is shooting 41 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 70.3 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 68.3 points per game and limiting opponents to 64.4 points per game.
-The Jacks have a deep squad with 10 players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 30.3 points per outing this season.
-Penn State are 6-2 on the season, ranked No. 12/12 in the latest Associated Press and Coaches polls and is 1-1 in its last to outings. It had a three-game winning streak snapped Dec. 4 at No. 5/4 Notre Dame, 77-67, and it defeated Georgetown, 77-68 Dec. 8.
-The trip to Brookings will be just the second road trip for Penn State this season.
-The Lady Lions have three players averaging 10 points-or-more. Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year and Preseason Associated Press All-American candidate senior guard Maggie Lucas leads Penn State in scoring (21.3) while senior forward Ariel Edwards and senior guard Dara Taylor are averaging 12.8 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. On the boards, freshman forward Alex Harris grabs a team-high 6.8 caroms, and Taylor dishes a team-best 5.0 assists per game.
-Penn State is shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 29.6 percent from three-point range and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line.
-The Lady Lions have a young but deep squad with seven players average 15-or-more minutes per game. Their bench averages 20.6 points per game and seven average five-or-more points per outing.
-Last season, the Lady Lions finished with records of 26-6 overall and 14-2 in the Big Ten Conference, finishing first. They reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, beating Cal Poly, 85-55, but losing to Louisiana State, 71-66.
-Penn State returns two starters, seven letterwinners, and adds seven freshmen.
-It will be the second meeting between SDSU and Penn State. The Lady Lions hold a 1-0 series lead.
-In the first meeting Dec. 16, 2012, South Dakota State lost 60-50 at University Park, Pa.
The Penn State Series
-Tonights’s game marks the second meeting between South Dakota State and Penn State in women’s basketball.
-The Lady Lions won the first contest Dec. 16, 2012, 60-50 in University Park, Pa.
-The Jackrabbits are 10-11 vs. teams from the Big Ten Conference and are 0-4 against teams from the Keystone State.