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Miller, SDSU women throttle NDSU in Summit League opener

South Dakota State's Macy Miller (12) goes to the basket past North Dakota State University's Tyrah Spencer (24) during a game in the first round of the Summit League Tournament on Saturday at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS — It was close for one quarter.

But from the start of the second period until the end of the game, the second-seeded South Dakota State University women's basketball dominated seventh-seeded North Dakota State University and earned a 87-62 victory in the opening round of the Summit League tournament on Saturday at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. The Jackrabbits (24-6) advance to the semifinals and will take on the winner of Western Illinois vs. Omaha on Monday.

"We made some shots and went on a nice run," SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said about the second quarter. "We defended well and we also strung possessions together and made our shots."

In front of 8,944 fans, the Bison (9-20) started strong, taking a 14-7 lead, thanks to two 3-pointers by Sarah Jacobson, early in the first quarter. SDSU tied the game back up at 16 before the first quarter ended tied up at 18.

That's when the Jackrabbit offense exploded. SDSU outscored NDSU 30-13 in the second quarter, which featured a 23-2 run highlighted by Macy Miller's old-fashioned three-point play to give the Jackrabbits their first double-digit lead.

Miller, a Mitchell native and redshirt junior, led all scorers with 19 points and she dished out five assists. Four other Jackrabbits scored in double figures with Sydney Palmer pouring in 13 points, Madison Guebert and Tylee Irwin each tossed in 12 points and Myah Selland, a Letcher native, finished with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

"We did a great job defensively. We caused some turnovers and that led to our offense," Miller said. "We were more aggressive and got to the foul line."

In the second half, the Jackrabbits took their first 20-point lead at 62-42 and led 63-46 after three quarters. The fourth quarter was all SDSU as the starters came out of the game with more than 4 minutes remaining.

With the state buzzing for another SDSU vs. University of South Dakota Summit League championship game, Johnston said his team knows the next game is most important one.

"We're focused on today rather than looking past it," Johnston said. "It's a big deal to block outside distractions and stay focused on what's coming up."

For the Bison, Reilly Jacobson recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Michelle Gaislerova added 10 points. NDSU committed 17 turnovers, while SDSU finished with a season-low three turnovers.

Miller, who was named the Summit League player of the year on Tuesday, said she was happy to be back playing the conference tournament after missing the 2017 tourney with a knee injury. The Jackrabbits' sixth all-time leading scorer now has 1,660 career points in the blue and yellow. After Saturday's win, she reflected on the regular season honor.

"I felt thankful for it. It's a real cool honor," Miller said about being named Summit League player of the year. "But, I have to thank my teammates more. They did most of the work, too."

South Dakota State 87, North Dakota State 62

NDSU (9-20): Autumn Ogden 1-3 0-0 2, Rylee Nudell 0-3 0-0 0, Reilly Jacobson 6-13 7-8 19, Sarah Jacobson 2-10 0-0 6, Tyrah Spencer 3-5 0-0 7, Taylor Thunstedt 1-2 2-2 5, Macey Kvilvang 1-2 2-2 5, Michelle Gaislerova 4-6 0-0 10, Emily Dietz 3-6 1-2 7, Danneka Voegeli 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 22-53 11-14 62

SDSU (24-6): Tagyn Larson 1-4 0-0 2, Ellie Thompson 3-6 2-2 8, Alexis Alexander 1-4 0-0 3, Madison Guebert 3-13 5-5 12, Macy Miller 6-13 5-6 19, Rylie Cascio Jensen 2-4 2-2 8, Tylee Irwin 5-8 0-0 12, Sydney Palmer 4-6 2-2 13, Myah Selland 4-11 1-2 10, Megan Bultsma 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 29-71 17-19 87

NDSU 18 31 46 62

SDSU 18 48 63 87

3-point goals: NDSU 7-21 (Sarah Jacobson 2-7, Gaislerova 2-4, Kvilvang 1-2, Thunstedt 1-2, Spencer 1-2, Nudell 0-3, Ogden 0-1), SDSU 12-33 (Palmer 3-5, Irwin 2-3, Cascio Jensen 2-4, Miller 2-6, Guebert 1-8, Alexander 1-3, Selland 1-2, Larson 0-1, Thompson 0-1); Rebounds: NDSU 35 (Reilly Jacobson 12), SDSU 40 (Selland 9); Assists: NDSU 11 (Spencer 3), SDSU 17 (Miller 5); Steals: NDSU 2 (Spencer 1), SDSU 12 (Selland 5); Blocks: NDSU 6 (Ogden 3), SDSU 6 (Selland 2); Fouls: NDSU 17, SDSU 11; Fouled out: NDSU (none), SDSU (none); Turnovers: NDSU 17, SDSU 3; Attendance: 8,944.