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Jacks close first half at Omaha

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 01/25/2013 15:49:50
The South Dakota State University women's basketball team will attempt to bounce back from its first conference loss as it closes the first half of the Summit League slate with a Saturday afternoon matchup at league newcomer Omaha.
Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Sapp Fieldhouse on the University of Nebraska-Omaha campus.
The league-leading Jackrabbits enter the contest with a 14-6 overall record, including a 6-1 mark in The Summit League. In its last outing, Jan. 19, SDSU dropped a 57-56 home decision to IUPUI.
Omaha, meanwhile, has held its own through the first half of the Summit League schedule. The Mavericks improved to 4-3 in league play with a 61-52 home win over North Dakota State on Thursday. Overall, Omaha is tied with the Jackrabbits for most
victories by a Summit member as it brings a 14-5 mark in Saturday's matinee.

MEDIA COVERAGE: Audio coverage of Saturday's game is scheduled to be available via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com, the official website of SDSU athletics. Monthly subscriptions for the 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. Video streaming will be available through OMavs.com.
Local radio coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Central Time on the Jackrabbit Sports Network, with J.J. Hartigan calling the play-by-play. Jackrabbit Sports Network affiliates for SDSU women's basketball this season include: 104.1 FM (The Wolf) in Yankton, KBRK 93.7 FM in Brookings, and Pierre-based KGFX 92.7 FM.

THE SERIES: Saturday's game will mark the first meeting between a pair of former North Central Conference rivals since the 2003-04 season, after which SDSU departed for the Division I ranks.
SDSU and Omaha have played 59 times dating back to a 63-46 Maverick victory during the 1976-77 season, with Omaha holding 31-28 series advantage. The Mavericks won the first 13 matchups before SDSU broke into the win column with a 59-56 victory during the 1981-82 season.
The Jackrabbits dominated the series late in the Division I era, winning 20 of the 24 meetings between the 1992-93 and 2003-04 seasons. SDSU has a five-game winning streak in the series, including a 97-61 victory on Feb. 27, 2004, at Omaha - in what was the last meeting between the two programs.
SDSU shot 59 percent (19-of-32), including 7-of-12 from three-point range, in the second half to pull away for the victory.
All five Jackrabbit starters scored in double figures, led by the 19-point, 11-rebound performance by Shannon Schlagel. Omaha native Stacie Cizek scored 16 points for SDSU, while Brenda Davis, Megan Vogel and Heather Sieler all scored 12 points.
J.J. Smith led the Mavericks with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Omaha's last victory in the series was an 80-77 overtime win at Sapp Fieldhouse on Jan. 18, 2002.

829 AND COUNTING: SDSU's victory over Oakland on Dec. 29, 2011, was the 800th in the women's basketball program's history. Since the modern era of women's basketball at South Dakota State University began with a 6-0 mark during the 1966-67 season, the Jacks have gone on to compile an overall record of 829-372 (.690 winning percentage).
In addition, SDSU sealed its 26th consecutive winning season between competing at the NCAA Division II and Divsion I levels during the 2011-12 season.The Jackrabbits' last losing season was an 11-16 campaign during the 1985-86 season.

175 D-I WINS: Since moving up to the NCAA Division I ranks at the start of the 2004-05 season, the Jackrabbits have posted a winning record against D-I opponents. In its eight-plus seasons competing at the Division I level, SDSU has compiled a 179-72 mark (.713 winning percentage) versus D-I opposition. The Jackrabbits have posted victories over 57 different Division I teams representing 21 conferences plus independents.

TOUGH AT HOME: The Jackrabbit women's basketball team has gained a decisive home-court advantage at Frost Arena over the past decade.
In his tenure as Jackrabbit head coach, Aaron Johnston has led the Jackrabbits to a 157-24 record (.867 winning percentage) at Frost Arena, including a 102-16 mark (.864 winning pct.) at home during the Division I era. The Jackrabbits have put together home winning streaks of 15, 15 and 22 in the process. SDSU had a 10-game home winning streak end in a Nov. 14 loss to Creighton, and its seven-game Frost Arena streak snapped Jan. 19 in a 57-56 loss to IUPUI.
Since the start of the 2001-02 season, SDSU has a 147-19 home record (.886 winning percentage), losing an average of less than two games at Frost Arena each full
season. The Jackrabbits capped the 2008-09 regular season with a 14-0 record - a mark that stands as the first undefeated home season in school history.
A loss to Western Kentucky early in the 2009-10 campaign snapped a 35-game
regular season home winning streak, as well as a 15-game overall winning streak that began after SDSU lost to Creighton (Neb.) in the first round of the 2008 Women's NIT.

SUMMIT LEAGUE SUCCESS: South Dakota State has built an impressive Summit League résumé during its tenure in the conference.
Since joining the league at the start of the 2007-08 season, the Jackrabbits have
compiled an 81-16 record (.835 winning percentage) in Summit League regular season games en route to outright league titles with records of 16-2 in 2007-08, 17-1 during the 2008-09 season and 16-2 during the 2011-12 campaign. In addition, SDSU has gone 44-6 at home (.880 winning percentage) against league foes and has won at least one game on every other Summit League member's home court with the exception of South Dakota, which joined the Summit League last season, and Omaha, which is a new member during the 2012-13 season.

WAYTASHEK RETURNS: Jackrabbit forward Megan Waytashek made a successful return to the court by being named to the all-tournament team at the season-opening Best Buy Classic.
Waytashek missed most of her first two seasons in the Jackrabbit program due to knee injuries. She was granted an injury hardship this past summer, giving her three remaining years of eligibility.
A sophomore from Lino Lakes, Minn., Waytashek has scored in double figures in 15 of 20 games this season, with a pair of double-doubles. At the Best Buy Classic, Waytashek tallied 10 points versus Villanova (Pa.) and 13 points with seven rebounds in an overtime win over Washington State.
In earning co-Summit League Player of the Week honors on Dec. 10, Waytashek averaged 20 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals per game in wins over Eastern Michigan and Northern Iowa. She opened the week by tying a then-career high with 17 points, including the game-winning basket, against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 4. She then scored a career-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting Dec. 8 at Northern Iowa, including 3-for-3 on three-point attempts. For the week, she shot 51 percent (14-of-23) from the field, 62 percent (5-of-8) on three-pointers and 70 percent (7-of-10) at the free throw line.

COUNTDOWN TO 1,000: Senior guard Ashley Eide is on pace to join the Jackrabbit 1,000-Point Club this season.
A Sioux Falls native, Eide enters the week with 923 career points after tallying double figures in both Jackrabbit victories last week. Eide hit the 20-point mark for the fourth time in five games with a game-high 22-point outing against South Dakota on Jan. 6. Eide has topped 20 points six times this season, including tying her career high with 27 points on a career-best seven three-pointers Dec. 21 at Georgetown as SDSU defeated a BIG EAST opponent for the first time.
She had a streak of three consecutive games with at least 20 points, starting with a 25-point night against Delaware State on Dec. 18. Eide also tallied 26 points in SDSU's Nov. 18 upset win over nationally ranked Nebraska and scored 21 in an overtime loss to Marquette (Wis.) on Nov. 28.
Eide currently leads the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game and also paces the team with 40 three-pointers. In the most recent NCAA statistics, she ranks 21st among Division I players this season for three-point shooting at 41.7 percent (40-for-96).
During the 2011-12 season, during which she earned second-team all-Summit League honors, Eide finished third on the team with an average of 10.9 points per game. She would become the 32nd player in Jackrabbit women's basketball history to top 1,000 points.

EIDE HONORED: South Dakota State University women's basketball player Ashley Eide was selected as Summit League Female Athlete of the Month for her performance during the month of December.
A senior from Sioux Falls, Eide helped lead the Jackrabbits to a 6-1 record during December, while averaging 17.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. She tied a career high with 27 points and set new single-game marks with 13 rebounds and seven three-pointers in a win at Georgetown on Dec. 21. She topped the 20-mark on two other occasions, scoring 25 points in a Dec. 18 win over Delaware State and tallying 20 in the Summit League opener Dec. 30 against North Dakota State.
Eide shot 54 percent (46-of-86) from the field in the seven games, including 47 percent (22-of-47) from three-point range. She also averaged three assists and 1.3 steals in 28.1 minutes per game.
League-leading SDSU's only loss in December came at nationally ranked Penn State on Dec. 16, a game in which Eide scored a team-high 14 points.
Eide is the third Jackrabbit student-athlete to receive a Summit League Athlete of the Month award this academic year. Men's cross country runner Michael Krsnak and women's soccer player Diana Potterveld were both honored in October.
Western Illinois basketball player Terell Parks was the December honoree on the men's side.

SENIOR LEADER: Senior center Katie Lingle has given the Jackrabbits a big boost both off the bench and as a member of the starting lineup during the 2012-13 season. The Pierre native ranks third on the team in scoring with an average of 7.9 points per game and third in rebounding at 4.4 rebounds per contest.
Lingle began the season on the bench, but started three games beginning with a Nov. 28 matchup against Marquette, when she scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds.
She returned to a reserve role Dec. 8 at Northern Iowa, responding by matching her season high with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field to go along with seven boards.
Lingle also scored 12 points in an overtime victory over Washington State on Nov. 11, then turned in a pair of strong performances to open the home season. She tallied nine points and nine rebounds Nov. 14 versus Creighton, then added nine points and eight rebounds in the upset win over Nebraska on Nov. 18. Lingle also blocked three shots in each contest.
Over the last six games, Lingle is averaging 9.2 points per game, while shooting 53.5 percent (23-of-43) from the field. She also is averaging 4.5 rebounds and 1.83 blocked shots per game.
She enters the week 10th on the Jackrabbit career blocked shots chart with 79 after recording a career-high five blocks in the Jan. 12 win at Fort Wayne.

DIETEL ON THE BOARDS: Senior forward Leah Dietel has been a strong presence on the glass during the first half of the 2012-13 season. The Jordan, Minn., native tied a career high with 10 rebounds in the Nov. 18 upset of nationally ranked Nebraska and matched that exactly a month later in a home win over Delaware State — a game in which she also scored a career-high 16 points.
Dietel has tallied at least five rebounds 14 times this season. She currently leads the team with an average of 5.7 rebounds per game.

BOMBS AWAY: Sophomore wing Rachel Walters has developed into a three-point specialist for the Jackrabbit women's basketball team.
During her career, 125 of Walters' 133 shot attempts have been from three-point land. During the 2012-13 season, all but two of her 54 attempts have come from long range.
Walters matched a career high with 12 points - all on three-pointers - in a Nov. 23 loss at Central Michigan. Her previous 12-point outing also came in the state of Michigan as she drained four three-pointers in a win at Oakland during her freshman season.

STROP SETTLES IN: Junior forward Hannah Strop has made a successful transition to the Jackrabbit starting lineup in recent weeks.
A native of New Prague, Minn., Strop earned her first career start at Northern Iowa on Dec. 8. Although she did not score, Strop matched her previous career high with six rebounds - a total she surpassed Jan. 17 against Western Illinois with eight rebounds.
On Dec. 30 against North Dakota State, Strop connected on 3-of-4 three-point attempts en route to a season-high nine points She also grabbed five rebounds and
contributed a steal and blocked shot.Strop again made a trio of three-pointers Jan. 3 against Kansas City and Jan. 17 versus Western Illinois, equaling her season high with of nine points.
In her 11 starts, she is averaging 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 40.6 percent (13-of-32) from three-point range. The Jackrabbits are 9-2 in games she has started.

CLEANING THE GLASS: After being out-rebounded in back-to-back games losses to Central Michigan and Marquette (Wis.), the Jackrabbits returned to their winning ways thanks to a strong effort on the boards Dec. 1 against Middle Tennessee. SDSU held a 17-rebound advantage, 48-31, as Megan Waytashek led the effort with 10 rebounds. All 11 SDSU players to see action in the game tallied at least one board.
The Jackrabbits turned in another strong rebounding performance in their Dec. 8 win at Northern Iowa, holding a 42-27 advantage. Sophomore guard Gabby Boever led SDSU with a career-high eight rebounds and junior forward Hannah Strop tied a career high with six rebounds as she made her first career start.
SDSU posted its best rebounding effort of the season Jan. 3 in an 82-47 victory over Kansas City. The Jackrabbits ended the night with a 44-17 (plus-27) advantage in total rebounds, including a 19-3 edge on the offensive glass. SDSU converted the 19 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points, compared to four by the Kangaroos.
For the season, the Jackrabbits have out-rebounded the opposition in 12 games and have been tied twice in 20 contests. SDSU has held a double-digit rebounding advantage in four of its seven Summit League games this season, including a streak of three in a row - plus-10 (45-35) at Oakland, plus-12 (41-29) at Fort Wayne and plus-16 versus Western Illinois (51-35) on Jan. 17.

DOUBLE DUTY: The Jackrabbit women's basketball team has received double-double performances from three different players this season, including three by sophomore forward Megan Waytashek.
Waytashek posted the team's first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a Dec. 1 home victory over Middle Tennessee. Her second double-double was a 15-point, 11-rebound outing Jan. 3 against Kansas City, followed by a career-high 30 points and 11 boards at Fort Wayne on Jan. 12.
Ashley Eide's 27-point, 13-rebound performance Dec. 21 at Georgetown marked season highs by an SDSU player in both categories during the 2012-13 campaign.
Leah Dietel turned in a double-double performance Dec. 18 against Delaware State, scoring a career-high 16 points while tying a career best with 10 rebounds.

COACH AARON JOHNSTON: In his 13th season as head coach of the South Dakota State University women's basketball team, Aaron Johnston has taken the Jackrabbit
program to the top of NCAA Division II and is leading SDSU to national prominence at the Division I level.
Johnston enters the weekend with a career record of 304-105 (.743 winning percentage), becoming the Jackrabbit women's basketball program's career leader in coaching victories when he recorded win No. 302 at Oakland (Mich.) on Jan. 10. Johnston passed his predecessor, Nancy Neiber, who compiled a 301-140 record in 16 seasons from 1985-2000. He recorded his 300th career victory Jan. 3 against Kansas City.
His career totals have included an 81-16 record (.835 winning percentage) in Summit League regular season games, a perfect 12-0 mark in Summit League postseason tournament contests and a 16-8 mark (.667 winning percentage) in postseason games.
The Summit League Coach of the Year in each of the Jackrabbits' first two seasons in the league and again during the 2011-12 season, Johnston was named a finalist for the 2009 Naismith Award as the nation's top coach. SDSU tied a school record for victories in a season with 32 during the 2008-09 campaign and gained national attention by vaulting into the top 25 in December after non-conference victories over the likes of Wisconsin, Utah, Minnesota and Gonzaga (Wash.). The Jackrabbits were ranked in the final 13 USA Today/ ESPN regular season coaches' polls, climbing as high as 14th in the coaches' poll and 16th in the Associated Press poll. SDSU finished the 2008-09 season ranked 19th by the coaches.
Along the way to a 32-3 overall record, the Jackrabbits received national media coverage from CBS Sports, USA Today, ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.
A native of Pine Island, Minn., "A.J." earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. After serving one year as an assistant coach at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, he moved on to SDSU as a graduate assistant for the Jackrabbit men's basketball team for two seasons before becoming assistant women's coach. He also coached the SDSU golf teams one year.

TOEING THE LINE: During the last month, the Jackrabbits have created a big advantage at the free throw line by converting 138-of-184 attempts for 75 percent.
SDSU began its run of success at the charity stripe by establishing season highs with 32 made free throws in 37 attempts for 86.5 percent in a Dec. 18 win over Delaware State.
Sophomore forward Megan Waytashek has led the free throw effort by going 35-of-38 (92.1 percent) over the last nine games, including a streak of 22 consecutive that ended with her first attempt Jan. 10 at Oakland. The Jackrabbit record for most consecutive made free throws is 35, which Heather Sieler set by making her final 17 attempts of the 2002-03 season and first 18 attempts of the 2003-04 campaign.
During the same nine-game span, Jackrabbit opponents have gone 106-of-150 from the stripe, 70.7 percent.

HEATING UP: South Dakota State has found success on the offensive end during the early portion of the Summit League season. The Jackrabbits shot at least 48 percent in each of their first four home league games, including a season-best 50.8 percent (32-of-63) against Western Illinois on Jan. 17.
Combined in their seven Summit League games, the Jackrabbits have shot 43.9 percent (180-of-410) from the field, including 53-of-148 (35.8 percent) from three-point range. SDSU also has averaged 71.7 points per Summit League game, while allowing only 54.1.
Adding to the offensive efficiency is the fact that the Jackrabbits have averaged only 14 turnovers per game - more than four turnovers per game less than the season average.

ACADEMIC SUCCESS: The South Dakota State University women's basketball team continued its track record of academic success, ranking second among Division I programs in the Women's Basketball Coaches Associations Academic Top 25 with a 3.610 team grade-point average during the 2011-12 academic year.
"It was another successful year in the classroom for our program," head coach Aaron Johnston said. "Year after year we have been at or near the top of the WBCA Academic Top 25 Honor Roll. SDSU is a great institution and clearly our university has an excellent plan in place for helping students excel academically."
Wisconsin-Green Bay held the top spot among Division I programs, edging the Jackrabbits for the top spot with a 3.616 team GPA. The top three teams in the D-I rankings all played in the NCAA Tournament as DePaul (Ill.) completed the trio with at 3.604.
Across all divisions of women's college basketball, which includes NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior colleges, the Jackrabbits finished 10th overall. Drury (Mo.) led all divisions with a 3.709 team GPA, followed by Northland (Wis.) at 3.706.
In seven seasons competing at the Division I level, SDSU has finished no worse than third place in the Division I team GPA rankings. The Jackrabbits have led the nation four times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011), finished second twice (2010, 2012) and placed third once (2009). In addition, SDSU led all divisions of women's college basketball for team GPA in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Also during the 2011-12 season, Ashley Eide was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team. Majoring in health, physical education and recreation, Eide earned a spot on the honor squad with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.
Eide is the sixth Jackrabbit women's basketball player to receive Academic All-America recognition during the program's history, joining: Tara Tessier (first team, 1988); Laurie (Bruns) Kruse (second team, 1991); Jodi Bergemann (third team, 1994); Megan Vogel (second team, 2007), and Jennifer Warkenthien (second team, 2009).

PALUCH TO REDSHIRT: Senior guard Steph Paluch is expected to redshirt during the 2012-13 season, head coach Aaron Johnston announced in late November.
A Pierre native, Paluch started the first 31 games of the 2011-12 season before suffering a knee injury in the semifinals of the Summit League postseason tournament. Playing both the point and off-guard positions, Paluch led the team with 78 assists and 44 steals a season ago. She also averaged 6.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

SISTER ACT: Two members of the 2012-13 Jackrabbit women's basketball team are following in the footsteps of older sisters - both of whom were recent additions to the SDSU 1,000-Point Club.
Sophomore guard Gabby Boever is the second from her family to play for the Jackrabbits. The Worthington, Minn., native follows her older sister, Maria, who scored 1,360 points - currently 14th - during a career that spanned the 2007-10 seasons.
Freshman guard Chloe Cornemann is expected to make her collegiate debut this weekend. Cornemann's older sister, Ketty, also lettered for the Jackrabbits from 2007-10, finishing her career 30th in scoring at SDSU with 1,042 points. Their father, Dave, was an NCAA Division II national champion wrestler for the Jackrabbits at 167 pounds in 1984.
In addition, fellow newcomer Anne Aamlid has strong Jackrabbit bloodlines - her sister, Seri, played volleyball while brother, Nik, was a member of the SDSU football team. Their father, Brian, played basketball at SDSU from 1977-81.

JACKRABBIT INSIDER: Throughout the 2012-13 women's basketball season, head coach Aaron Johnston will be a guest on the "Jackrabbit Insider," a weekly behind-the-scenes look at South Dakota State University athletics.
The half-hour television show which features interviews with Jackrabbit coaches and student-athletes, airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on Sioux Falls-based KTTW FOX 7. The show is also broadcast on FOX Sports North at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and on FOX College Sports Central (check listings). Online, the show can be viewed at GoJacks.com.

JACKRABBIT BASKETBALL COACHES SHOW: Fans are invited to join coaches Aaron Johnston and Scott Nagy every Monday at Cubby's Sports Bar and Grill in downtown Brookings for the Jackrabbit Basketball Coaches Show.
Hosted by South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year Tyler Merriam, the show airs from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays on the Jackrabbit Sports Network through flagship station WNAX 570 AM and online via the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com.

THE ROSTER: The 2012-13 SDSU women's basketball roster features 14 players from two different states. Of the 14 players, seven are from Minnesota and seven are from South Dakota. By class, four are seniors, two are juniors, six are sophomores and two are incoming freshmen.

A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits open the second half of the Summit League schedule with a road game Wednesday (Jan. 30) at the University of South Dakota. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

 

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