DENVER, Colo. —South Dakota State (21-8, 12-1) claimed its fifth Summit League regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming league championship with a 69-55 victory over Denver (6-22, 4-9) in women’s basketball action Thursday in front of 351 fans in Magness Arena.
Junior Megan Waytashek (Lino Lakes, Minn.) led four Jackrabbits in double figures in scoring with a game-high 17 points. Senior Steph Paluch (Pierre) had 12 points while junior Mariah Clarin (Princeton, Minn.) and freshman Chynna Stevens (Clark) each added 11 points.
SDSU sank a season-high 12 three-pointers despite shooting 37.9 percent from the field.
The Jackrabbits used a 12-0 run after a Denver free throw to open the second half to take a 43-33 lead with 13:06 to go. SDSU pushed the lead to 18 points when Paluch made the squad’s 11th three-pointer with 8:34 left in the game. Denver came within 10 points with 1:12 on the clock, but Waytashek went four for four from the free-throw line to secure the win.
Denver sprinted to a 17-4 lead early in the first half before South Dakota State rebounded with a 22-3 run for a 26-22 lead with 4:04 to go in the half. The Jacks shot 42.8 percent (6-14) from three-point range to fuel the run, and Stevens scored eight points. The Pioneers scored nine of the final 11 points to pull within one, 31-30, at halftime.
South Dakota State closes the regular season Sunday at South Dakota. The game tips at 2 p.m. in the Dakota Dome.
Courtesy: SDSU Michele Schmidt