Rotert leads Jacks to PinkZone win
Kristin Rotert scored 22 points for the second consecutive game and Jennie Sunnarborg added 16 as the South Dakota State women's basketball team recorded a 65-40 victory over Western Illinois in Summit League action Saturday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits improved to 12-13 overall and upped their Summit League mark to 8-6. WIU dropped to 7-16 overall, 5-8 in league play.
SDSU strung together a pair of double-digit runs in the first half to take control of the game. Trailing 2-0, Rotert started a 13-0 outburst with a pair of three-pointers 35 seconds apart, with Jill Young adding a three-pointer moments later.
The second big SDSU run of the opening stanza was a 10-0 spurt that allowed the Jackrabbits to build their largest lead of the half, 29-10. Rotert again jump-started the run with a three-pointer and Young added a trifecta from the top of the key.
However, Western Illinois countered with an 8-0 run before Tara Heiser connected on a three-pointer from the right wing with two minutes and seven seconds remaining. SDSU led 36-24 at the half after 6-of-11 three-point attempts in the first 20 minutes.
The Fighting Leathernecks trimmed the margin to eight, 34-26, after scoring the first two baskets of the second half, but SDSU quickly recovered and continued to extend its lead. The Jackrabbits put together a final 13-0 run over a five-plus minute span late in the second half to seal their eighth consecutive victory over WIU.
Rotert went 8-for-11 from the field, including 4-of-6 on threes en route to her 22 points. She also was one of four players with five rebounds to pace the Jackrabbits' 37-30 rebounding advantage.
SDSU ended the game 23-of-48 from the field, 47.9 percent, including 9-of-21 on three-point attempts. At the line, the Jackrabbits made 10-of-13 tries, 76.9 percent.
Western Illinois, meanwhile, shot a dismal 18 percent (6-of-32) in the second half and 14-of-54 overall, 25.9 percent. The Fighting Leathernecks were held without a three-point field goal, going 0-for-13 in the contest. WIU was 12-of-14 at the line, however, 85.7 percent.
Valencia Kelly was the lone player in double figures for WIU with 10 points. Rachel Evans tallied a game-high six rebounds.
The Jackrabbits close out the home portion of their schedule Monday night, hosting IUPUI on Senior Night. The game also is designated as Military Appreciation Night and Career Service Night, with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series 8-1 ... Saturday's game was the annual PinkZone game to raise breast cancer awareness ... the Jackrabbits improved to 7-6 at Frost Arena this season ... Rotert jumped two spots on the SDSU career scoring chart to 12th place with 1,375 points, passing both Maria Boever (1,360 points from 2007-10) and Laurie (Bruns) Kruse (1,370 points from 1988-91) ... Rotert is shooting 48.5 percent (32-of-66) from three-point range in Summit League play ... SDSU is 11-2 when leading at the half and 10-6 when out-rebounding an opponent ... Leah Dietel and Ashley Eide each returned to the Jackrabbit rotation after missing the last four games due to injury ... attendance was 2,894