Waytashek, Jacks beat the buzzer
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Megan Waytashek's putback basket at the buzzer capped a wild comeback for South Dakota State as the Jackrabbit women's basketball team remained undefeated in Summit League play with a 66-64 victory at Fort Wayne Saturday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits, who extended their winning streak to seven games, improved to 13-5 overall and 5-0 in The Summit League. Fort Wayne dropped to 6-11 overall, 2-3 in league play.
SDSU trailed 63-54 after two free throws by Erin Murphy with 3 minutes and 49 seconds remaining. Reserve center Katie Lingle started the comeback with two free throws and a basket before Waytashek cut the deficit to 63-61 with her sixth three-pointer of the game with 1:25 to play. Ashley Eide then gave the Jackrabbits a momentary 64-63 lead with a three-pointer with 34 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, Murphy was fouled with 12 seconds remaining but converted only one of two attempts to tie the game at 64-all.
The Jackrabbits quickly moved the ball into the front court and got off a flurry of shots in the final seconds, the fourth - and last - of which Waytashek converted from the right block just before the final horn. The game-winning basket was confirmed following a lengthy review.
Waytashek, who finished with a career-high 30 points along with a game-high 11 rebounds, kept the Jackrabbits in the game in the first half. The Mastodons made 7-of-11 shots from the field in the opening minutes of the game to build an 18-8 lead. The sophomore then scored the final seven points of a 13-1 Jackrabbit run as SDSU regained the lead at 21-19.
The lead would change five more times in the closing minutes of the opening half before Fort Wayne took a 31-28 lead into intermission.
The Mastodons scored the first five points of the second half and did not relinquish the lead until the final minute.
Eide, who sat most of the first half with two early fouls, scored all 11 of her points in the second half. Lingle contributed eight points, eight rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots. The Jackrabbits held a 41-29 edge on the boards, including a 16-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
SDSU finished the afternoon 24-of-61 from the field, 39.3 percent, including 11-of-25 from three-point range. At the line, the Jackrabbits made 7-of-11 attempts at the line, 63.6 percent.
Murphy and Stefanie Mauk each scored 20 points to lead Fort Wayne, with Rachel Mauk adding 11 points. The Mastodons shot 20-of-49 from the field, 40.8 percent, with a 7-for-23 effort from long range. One of the top free throw shooting teams in the country, Fort Wayne made 17-of-23 attempts at the line for 73.9 percent.
The Jackrabbits return to home action Thursday (Jan. 17), hosting Western Illinois in a 7 p.m. contest at Frost Arena.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series, 18-1, and has won the last six meetings ... the Jackrabbits are off to their first 5-0 start in Summit League play since joining the league at the start of the 2007-08 season ... Waytashek and Eide each reached double figures for the 14th time this season ... Eide upped her career point total to 902 ... Waytashek was 11-of-20 overall from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range ... her previous career high was 23 points at Northern Iowa on Dec. 8 ... Waytashek became the first Jackrabbit player to score 30 points in a game since Jennie Sunnarborg on Jan. 14, 2012, against Kansas City ... Waytashek is shooting 96.4 percent (27-of-28) from the free throw line during the Jackrabbits' seven-game winning streak ... Lingle moved into 10th place on the SDSU career blocked shots chart with 77, breaking a tie with Jennifer Johnson (72 from 1982-85) for 11th place and passing Angie Loken (76 from 1998-2001) for 10th place