Jackrabbits fall short at ORU
TULSA, Okla. - A short-handed South Dakota State University women's basketball team took league-leading Oral Roberts down to the wire, but came up on the short end of an 85-78 decision Monday night at the Mabee Center.
The Jackrabbits, who suited up only eight players due to a variety of injuries, dropped to 11-13 overall and 7-6 in The Summit League. ORU notched its 12th consecutive victory to improve to 17-7 overall and remain undefeated in league play at 13-0.
Each team put together a double-digit run in the first half. Trailing 4-3, the Jackrabbits strung together 15 consecutive points to take an 18-4 lead. Katie Lingle gave SDSU the lead with a putback basket before Jill Young heated up from behind the three-point arc. The junior from Mitchell scored nine consecutive points, the first three coming on a traditional three-point play followed by back-to-back three-pointers.
Young tallied 21 first-half points on six three-pointers, the last of which gave SDSU a 33-23 lead with 6 minutes and 37 seconds remaining in the half.
ORU stormed back with a 13-0 to regain the lead at 36-35 behind hot shooting of its own. The Golden Eagles shot 68 percent in the first half, making 17-of-25 attempts from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point territory.
However, Kristin Rotert stemmed the tied and scored the final nine Jackrabbit points of the half - all via the three-pointer - including a deep three-ball seconds before the horn to knot the game at 44-all heading into intermission.
After Young tied a career high with her seventh three-pointer that tied the game at 52-all, the Golden Eagles appeared on the verge of breaking the game open. A three-pointer by Jaci Bigham put ORU up 64-54 with 14:04 to play.
SDSU countered with seven straight points and drew to within 68-66 as Rotert tied her career high with her sixth three-pointer of the game five minutes later. Freshman Hannah Strop later scored consecutive baskets to tie the game at 73-all with 5:52 remaining.
The Golden Eagles then came up with a decisive six-point spurt and held SDSU to one field goal the rest of the way. Jordan Pyle made two free throws and scored inside before Kevi Luper added a basket to put the game out of reach. SDSU would get no closer than four points the rest of the way as ORU sealed the victory at the free throw line.
Luper scored a game-high 26 points to lead Oral Roberts, while Pyle contributed 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field. Bigham added 17 points and seven assists.
ORU cooled only slightly in the second half, ending the game 30-of-52, 57.7 percent, from the field, including 5-of-8 on three-pointers. The Golden Eagles converted 20-of-27 free throw attempts, 74.1 percent.
Young finished with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting from three-point range. Rotert ended the night 6-of-10 from three-point range en route to 22 points, marking the second time this season the Jackrabbits have had two players reach the 20-point mark in the same game. Katie Lingle added a career-high 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds to pace the Jackrabbits 35-28 advantage on the boards.
Overall, the Jackrabbits shot 26-of-58 from the field, 44.8 percent, including a season-best 14-for-26 from long range. SDSU made 12-of-16 free throw tries, 75 percent.
SDSU opens its final homestand of the season Saturday night, hosting Western Illinois in the annual Pink Zone game at Frost Arena. Tipoff for the contest, which also has been designated as the Corduroy Classic, is slated for 5 p.m., with the men's game to follow at 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: The all-time series is tied at five games apiece ... ORU has won the last four regular season meetings between the two teams ... the Jackrabbits employed their eighth different starting lineup of the season ... Young broke a tie with Megan Vogel (194 three-pointers from 2004-07) for fourth place on SDSU career three-point list with 201 ... Rotert upped her second-place career three-pointer total to 228 and also vaulted three spots to 14th in career scoring at SDSU with 1,353 points, passing Pat Dobratz (1,334 from 1971-74), Angie Swenson (1,335 from 1994-97) and Jennifer Warkenthien (1,349 from 2006-09) ... Young previously made seven three-pointers in a game at Oral Roberts on March 2, 2009 ... Rotert canned six three-pointers in a game for the third time (at Minnesota on Dec. 9, 2008, and versus ORU in last year's Summit League championship game) ... SDSU's previous season high for three-pointers made was 11 in the season opener against Utah Valley ... Lingle has set a career high for scoring in each of the last two games ... Strop scored all five Jackrabbit bench points ... SDSU is 0-2 this season when tied at the half ... the Jackrabbits committed 23 turnovers, compared to 16 by ORU ... attendance was 949