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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Long-time Rivals Battle in Fargo

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 11/25/2014 12:05:51

             Long-time rivals meet for the 78th time as the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (13-7, 4-0) ends its three-game road swing Saturday when it travels to Fargo, N.D., to take on North Dakota State (4-14, 1-3) at 2 p.m. in the Bison Sports Arena.

            The Jackrabbits enter the game on a four-game winning streak after beating Omaha, 80-66, Jan. 18. Senior Steph Paluch scored a career-high 21 points with a personal-best five three-pointers in the win.

            The Bison enter Saturday’s game on a winning note after beating Valley City State, 83-61, Thursday in a nonconference game in Fargo.

            South Dakota State is ranked 22nd in the latest CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll.


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-South Dakota State leads The Summit League with a 4-0 record. The Jacks also started 4-0 the last two seasons. The 2012-13 team opened league play 6-0 and the 2011-12 squad went 4-0.

-SDSU is 2-0 in league play on the road and are 3-5 on the road this season.

-South Dakota State is 38-11 all-time (.775 winning percentage) on the road in Summit League contests. The last time it lost a league road game was at IUPUI Feb. 14, 2013.

-North Dakota State is 2-5 at home this season and after snapping a five-game losing streak with its win over Valley City State Thursday in the Bison Sports Arena.

-SDSU enters the contest averaging 71.8 points per game in league contests while limiting its opponents to 62.2 points per game. The Bison average 66.5 points in Summit League games, and give up 78 points per outing.

A Quick Glance at South Dakota State

-Head coach Aaron Johnston’s probable starters vs. North Dakota State are senior Hannah Strop (3.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg), junior forward Mariah Clarin (8.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg), junior guards Megan Waytashek (11.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Gabrielle Boever (5.8 ppg, 2.8 apg) and senior guard Steph Paluch (9.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg). The lineup sports an 11-6 record.

-Waytashek has scored in double figures in 11 of 20 games, and seven other Jacks have posted double-digit scoring games. Waytashek, senior Steph 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 teams’ first two double-doubles.

-SDSU is shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 32.1 percent from three-point range and 70.6 percent from the free-throw line. The Jacks are also averaging 67.3 points per game and limiting opponents to 66.2 points per game.

-The Jacks have a deep squad with eight players averaging at least 13 minutes per game. Their bench averages 28.5 points per outing this season.

North Dakota State

-North Dakota State is 5-14 overall, 1-3 in Summit League play and 2-5 at home this season. It snapped a 10-game losing streak and won its first Summit League game of the season with an 83-77 win at Western Illinois Jan. 18.

-NDSU has three players averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Brooke LeMar leads the team in scoring (15.0) while sophomore forwards Marena Whittle and Holly Johnson are scoring 12.7 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.

-Whittle grabs a team-high 6.8 rebounds while LeMar dishes a team-best 4.9 assists per game.

-North Dakota State is shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 32.5 percent from three-point range and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line.

-The Bison return one starter, five letterwinners and adds four newcomers.

North Dakota State Series

-It will be the 78th meeting between SDSU and NDSU in women’s basketball, and the Jacks lead the series, 39-38.

-The teams were longtime rivals at the NCAA Division II level in the North Central Conference and now at the Division I level as members of The Summit League.

-The Jackrabbits have closed the gap considerably during the Division I era, holding a 15-4 advantage. The Bison ushered in the Division I era by sweeping the initial season series between the two squads as D-I foes during the 2004-05 season. SDSU then won 10 consecutive meetings until NDSU recorded a 78-71 victory in the 2010-11 Summit League opener Dec. 4, 2010, at Frost Arena. The current Jackrabbit winning streak in the series stands at six.

-Junior Megan Waytashek averaged 16 points and 4 rebounds in her two games vs. the Bison. Junior Mariah Clarin averaged seven points and three rebounds in her four outings against NDSU.

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