BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — South Dakota State women’s basketball concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule with its fourth straight victory in a 74-63 win over Northern Iowa Wednesday afternoon.
The Jacks, now 7-2, shot 43.9 percent from the field, outscored UNI 38-20 in the paint and scored 20 points off turnovers.
“Well that was an important win for us to finish off our non-conference schedule,” head coach Aaron Johnson said. “I feel really good about today’s game. I feel really good about our first nine games of the season. We played really good competition, I thought. To go 7-2 was really impressive for our team. I’m just really proud of them. I really like the effort they put into the entire non-conference schedule.”
Individually, Tori Nelson finished with 18 points while Myah Selland followed with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists. Tylee Irwin and Paiton Burckhard each scored 12 points and combined for 10 rebounds. Lindsey Theuninck finished with 10 points, four rebounds and a team-best five assists. Regan Nesheim came off the bench, scoring five points and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.
The Jacks and Panthers exchanged punches early on with the scoring margin staying within three points in the first 5:39. Irwin’s 3-pointer at the 5:03 mark started a 10-0 run for the Jacks, putting State ahead 19-12 with 58 seconds to play in the first. Two UNI baskets ended the quarter with the Jacks holding a 19-16 lead.
After the Jacks outscored UNI 5-2 to start the second, the Panthers continued to keep things close while the Jackrabbit offense struggled to get the ball in the hoop. Theuninck’s and-one at the 2:54 mark broke a four minute scoring drought and gave the Jacks a 29-21 lead. A Panther 3-pointer with 35 seconds left closed the half with the Jacks in front 31-26.
Opening the second half with seven unanswered points as part of a 9-2 run, the Jacks created separation as they watched their lead grow to 12 at the 7:06 mark with a balanced offensive attack. Six more unanswered Jackrabbit points stretched the lead to 51-33 with 3:32 to play in the third. A Burckhard steal led to a Nelson transition layup to close the quarter with the Jacks in front 57-38.
Despite scoring just three points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, the Jacks were able to maintain a comfortable lead. A 9-2 run brought the Panthers within 12 at the 1:20 mark, and one final 5-0 UNI run in the final 32 seconds cut the Jackrabbit lead to 11. That was as close as the Panthers would get, leading to the third straight Jackrabbit win.
“Today, it was great to see that first group really play well consistently,” Johnston said. “Myah’s really good and makes a lot of plays, but having five people in double figures says a lot about the team that we have. Tylee and Lindsey had really good minutes today. Tori, I thought, had her best, most consistent game of the year. She really was assertive offensively and did a lot of good things defensively, too. Paiton continues to get a lot done down there, so that first group was really good today.”
- South Dakota State holds a 10-4 advantage in the all-time series. The teams split the two regular season matchups
- All five SDSU starters scored in double figures for the second time this season. The last time was Dec. 15 against Drake.
- Regan Nesheim tied career highs with eight rebounds and five points
- With the win today, head coach Aaron Johnston has 499 career wins
South Dakota State opens Summit League play against Western Illinois Jan. 8. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. inside Frost Arena.