Rotert hits 1,000-point mark in SDSU's 67-39 semifinal blowout of W. Illinois
SIOUX FALLS -- Apparently, South Dakota State's Kristin Rotert wasn't in any big rush for career point No. 1,000.
Nearly five minutes ticked off the clock before she even attempted a shot in Monday's women's Summit League tournament semifinal.
But with two nothing-but-net free throws with 15:12 left in the first half, the McCook Central graduate became the 29th member of the Jackrabbits' 1,000-point club.
"It was really a special day," said Rotert, who finished with 19 points in SDSU's 67-39 blowout win over Western Illinois. "I had a lot of family and friends here, and they might not have seen me get that if we were on the road or even if we were playing back at Frost (Arena)."
The win puts SDSU in the Summit League title game for the second straight year. The Jacks, seeded third, play top-seeded Oral Roberts at 3 p.m. today for a berth in the NCAA tournament. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.
Early in the game, Rotert set up teammate Maria Boever inside the post for scores a couple times, but never was open enough to get a good look at the basket herself.
With her team leading 13-6, Rotert drove inside the lane and was fouled on her first shot attempt of the day.
No. 999 swished the through net and No. 1,000 got a large applause from many of the Jackrabbits' fans, who, for the second straight game, were blotched all over Sioux Falls Arena.
Rotert -- who now has 1,017 career points at SDSU -- didn't mind that the milestone was nothing exciting, but rather freebies.
"I was just hoping to knock down the free throws," said Rotert, who is now in 28th place on the Jackrabbits' career scoring chart.
Boever, Ketty Cornemann and now Rotert all hit the 1,000-point mark this season. And with her 3-for-7 shooting from behind the arc, Rotert has now made eight 3-pointers in the two tournament wins, upping her career total to 181, which is fifth in the school's history.
"That's a good accomplishment for Kristin to get to 1,000 points," SDSU coach Aaron Johnston said. "There were a lot of positives in the game for us."
While Rotert was one of two SDSU players in double-digit scoring figures, another Mitchell-area athlete failed to find the bottom of the net.
One day after scoring 11 points in the Jacks' opening-round win, former Mitchell Christian standout Jill Young went scoreless against the Leathernecks. She shot all threes, going 0-for-3 and finishing with three rebounds and two assists.
"I'm happy for (Kristin)," Young said of her teammate's accomplishment. "We played on some middle school teams together, so it's fun to know that a teammate on one of those teams did that."
Boever finished with a career-high 28 points and finished her double-double with 10 rebounds.
Her first two points, like Rotert's, were both free throws to give SDSU a 6-4 lead.
She scored the next three buckets on a transition layup, a 3-pointer and a basket in the post before Rotert hit point No. 1,000.
In the first 10 minutes, Boever had 11 of the Jackrabbits' 21 points, helping pull out to a 21-8 lead.
She had 19 of her game-high 28 before halftime, and combined with Rotert for 47 of SDSU's 67 points.
Rotert missed an NBA-range 3-pointer about six minutes after her free throws, and she didn't score again until there were seven minutes left in the first half.
At the seven-minute mark, she knocked down a 3-pointer, which marked the 23rd consecutive game she's hit at least one from behind the arc. The shot pushed SDSU's lead to 15 and her two free throws to end the first half gave the Jackrabbits a 37-26 lead.
To open the second half, Rotert hit her second 3-pointer of the game. SDSU's lead crept to 20 points midway through the second half.
Rotert scored inside for a 21-point lead, and, with four straight fast-break transition scores, built the lead to 27.
Much like the first half of Sunday's first-round win, SDSU's defense dominated in the second half.
The Leathernecks hit about 24 percent from the field in the second half, and their biggest run was 4-0.
"I thought that was another good defensive effort for us," Johnston said. "I think the team walked off the floor feeling like we left a few buckets out there.
"Our defense really kept us in it again and forced 23 turnovers. They did a good job making it tough for them to get into their offense."
Young's scoreless game and 0-for-3 day from behind the arc wasn't regular. She's hit 142 career 3-pointers, which is tied for 10th in SDSU history. Before Monday's win, she was extremely accurate from long range, hitting 25-of-51 in the previous nine games.
"When you don't score, you try to go out there and do the best you can and help the team in other ways," Young said. "You do the best to contribute any way possible."
At 3:35, Rotert hit her final 3-pointer of the game and stole the ball on Western Illinois' next possession, leading to a fast-break layup.
Her 19 points were five shy of matching her season high. This year, she's started all 31 games. She's averaging 18 points per game and 26 minutes in the Summit League tournament.
"Come tomorrow, playing in a game like that and an atmosphere like that, fatigue doesn't really matter as much," Rotert said.
SDSU 67, Western Illinois 39
South Dakota (21-10)
Jennifer Schuttloffel 1-3 0-0 2, Ketty Cornemann 1-3 2-2 5, Maria Boever 11-17 4-5 28, Macie Michelson 3-12 0-0 7, Kristin Rotert 5-10 6-6 19, Jill Young 0-3 0-0 0, Alison Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Steph Paluch 0-0 0-0 0, Ashley Eide 3-4 0-0 6, Jennie Sunnarborg 0-2 0-0 0, Katie Lingle 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-55 12-13 67.
Western Illinois (11-20)
Anneloes Kodde 2-8 0-0 5, Nichele Salvatori 2-4 1-1 6, Ashley Lord 2-6 0-0 4, Jordan O'Brien 2-7 3-4 7, A. Borgertpoepping 3-6 0-0 6, Erica Lewis 5-11 1-3 11, Jackie Barton 0-2 0-0 0, Christina Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Lunden Roberts 0-2 0-0 0, Jackie Reiger 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 16-48 5-8 39.
SDSU 37 67
WIU 26 39
3-Pointers: SDSU 7-25 (Rotert 3, Boever 2, Cornemann 1), WIU 2-15 (Kodde and Salvatori 1). Rebounds: SDSU 37 (Boever 10), WIU 29 (Lord 5). Assists: SDSU 19 (Schuttloffel 6), WIU 5 (O'Brien 4). Turnovers: SDSU 16, WIU 23.