Summit League Showdown Saturday
The South Dakota State women’s basketball team (17-7, 8-0) takes on a hungry IUPUI team (17-6, 7-1) Saturday at 2 p.m. in The Jungle, in a game that could put some distance between the Summit League-leading Jackrabbits and the second-place Jaguars.
Saturday’s game will be live on ESPN3.com with Greg Rakestraw calling the play-by-play and Bob Lovell providing color commentary.
Sporting an eight-game winning streak and a modest four-game road win streak, the Jacks improved to 2-0 in the all-important month of February with a 77-66 win at Fort Wayne Thursday. Senior Hannah Strop and freshman Chynna Stevens posted career highs in scoring with 16 points each.
IUPUI, sporting a seven-game winning streak and a six-game home win streak, took care of North Dakota State Thursday, 77-53. DeAirra Goss had a team-high 20 points in the win
SDSU is ranked 15th in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll, its highest ranking since ranking 15th Dec. 7, 2013. IUPUI is receiving 17 votes in the poll.
TRACKING THE JACKRABBITS
Radio - Audio coverage via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com with play-by-play commentator J.J. Hartigan.
KJJQ 910 AM - Brookings
KBRK 93.7 FM - Brookings
KORN 1490 AM - Mitchell
WNAX 104.1 FM - Yankton
KGFX 92.7 FM – Pierre
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-South Dakota State and IUPUI will battle Saturday for the right to sit atop The Summit League standings. With a win Saturday, the Jacks would move two games ahead of the Jags, but a loss would tie them with IUPUI for the league lead.
-SDSU will be looking for its second series sweep of the season Saturday. The Jackrabbits won the first meeting between the teams, 63-57, Jan. 9 in Brookings. Since then, both teams have won seven consecutive games.
-SDSU is off to its best start in The Summit League with an 8-0 mark. Thursday’s win tied the 2013-14 Jacks with the 2002-03 Jacks for the best start in a conference schedule. The 2002-03 NCAA Division II national champion SDSU team opened the North Central Conference schedule 8-0. The Jacks faltered at the University of North Dakota, 86-62, Feb. 6, 2003.
-In The Summit League, the Jacks’ 8-0 start ranks behind the 13-0 record Oral Roberts posted in 2010-11, and the 13-0 start by the Golden Eagles men’s team in 2007-08.
-The Jackrabbits are 5-5 overall and 4-0 in league play on the road. Their last loss on the road this season was at No. 2/2 Notre Dame Jan. 2.
-South Dakota State is 43-11 all-time (.796 winning percentage) on the road in Summit League contests. The last time it lost a league road game was at IUPUI Feb. 14, 2013.
-The Jackrabbits are 5-1 vs. the Jaguars on the road.
-IUPUI is 9-2 at home, including 4-0 in league play, this season and has a seven-game winning streak. It last lost at home Dec. 15, 2013, to Indiana.
-SDSU enters the contest averaging 74.6 points per game in league contests while limiting its opponents to 62.2 points per game. The Jaguars average 73.9 points in Summit League games, and give up a league-leading 57.5 points per outing.
A QUICK GLANCE AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. IUPUI are senior Hannah Strop (4.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (7.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (6.2 ppg, 2.5 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg). The lineup sports a 15-6 record.
-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 14 of 24 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 40.7 percent from the field, 32.2 percent from three-point range and 72.4 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 69 points per game and limiting opponents to 65.5 points per game.
-The Jacks have a deep squad with eight players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 29.4 points per outing this season.
-IUPUI is 17-6 overall, 7-1 in Summit League play and has a seven-game winning streak. At home, it is 9-2 overall and 4-0 in league action.
-The Jags are currently second in The Summit League, one game behind the Jacks.
-The Jackrabbits beat the Jaguars, 63-57 Jan. 9, in the first meeting between the two teams this year. SDSU is looking for its first series sweep of IUPUI since the 2011-12 season.
-IUPUI has two players averaging double figures in scoring. Senior guard DeAirra Goss leads the team in scoring (13.8) and is fourth in Summit League games (17.5) while Nevena Markovic averages 10.4.
-Markovic grabs a team-high 5.8 rebounds for IUPUI, and Dawn Luster dishes 3.1 assists per game.
-IUPUI is shooting 45.9 percent from the field, 32.4 percent from three-point range and 68.7 percent from the free-throw line.
-In Summit League games, the Jags rank first in field goal percentage (.477), scoring defense (57.5), scoring margin (+16.4), three-point field goal percentage (.369), and rebounding defense (29.5). They are second in field goal percentage defense (.380), and rebounding margin (+7.6).
-Saturday’s game will be the 16th meeting between SDSU and IUPUI in women’s basketball action. The Jacks lead the series 13-2 and had a 12-game winning streak vs. the Jags snapped last year when they lost the two-game series. The Jacks lost 70-60, Feb. 14 in Indianapolis, and, 57-56, Jan. 19, in Frost Arena.
-Junior Megan Waytashek averages 18 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 42.3 percent from the field in three games vs. the Jags. Classmate Gabby Boever averages 9.2 points and 3.2 assists in six outings against IUPUI.