Seniors lead Jackrabbit women to 67-53 win over OaklandSIOUX FALLS —It was the start of Summit League tournament play for the South Dakota State women’s basketball team, but Saturday might as well have been Senior Day.
By: By MARCUS TRAXLER, The Daily Republic
SIOUX FALLS —It was the start of Summit League tournament play for the South Dakota State women’s basketball team, but Saturday might as well have been Senior Day.
SDSU, the tournament’s top seed in the eight-team event, dispatched No. 8 seed Oakland, 67-53, in the quarterfinal round at the Sioux Falls Arena.
The Jackrabbits (23-7) did it behind the efforts of its three seniors, who accounted for 48 of the Jacks’ 67 points in the first round. Ashley Eide and Katie Lingle both scored 18 points for the Jackrabbits and fellow senior Leah Dietel delivered 12 points for SDSU, which moves to 13-0 all-time in the Summit League tournament.
Despite the experience, it was not the smoothest of starts for the four-time defending champions.
The Jackrabbits turned the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes and saw Oakland take a 12-7 lead. But Eide, an all-Summit League first team selection, drilled a 3-pointer with 11:48 remaining in the first half to give SDSU a 15-14 lead. With help from Lingle and Dietel, the Jackrabbits mounted a 13-0 lead in the middle of the first half and never gave the lead back the rest of the way.
“I think experience helps,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “I think (our seniors) looked really calm. You need your top players to bring that.”
SDSU built a 35-22 halftime lead and led by as much as 18 in the second half.
Oakland’s freshman forward Olivia Nash led the Golden Grizzlies with 17 points. The Jackrabbits will face Fort Wayne at noon today in Sioux Falls.