BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The SDSU women’s basketball team closed their season with a WNIT Championship victory over Seton Hall. Here’s five takeaways from their run to the top:
#1: SDSU sets WNIT Championship record
The first takeaway from SDSU’s big win has to be their dominance in the WNIT Championship game. State led by as many 37 in the fourth quarter. They’d go on to win by a record setting, 32 points. That shattered the 2004 record set by Creighton when they won by 21.
SDSU used a 21-3 run to close the first quarter and build an eighteen point lead. They continued to build that lead the rest of the way to earn the 32-point blow out.
Several players after the game said their plan was to play the best Jackrabbit basketball that they could and it seemed they did just that.
#2: Myah Selland continues to roll
Myah Selland has established herself as one of the top mid-major players in the country and she continued to prove that in the WNIT.
She averaged 16.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest in the six game stretch. She was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Her ability to put up consistent numbers every game is what makes her so special. Not to mention all of the injuries she has had to battle through in her career.
Selland’s 24 points against UCLA in the WNIT Semifinals was extremely necessary. The Jackrabbits only won by three points, which makes every point scored by Selland critical.
#3: Timmer doesn’t play like a freshman
Despite a great tournament from Selland, the Jacks leading scorer was their newest starter, Haleigh Timmer.
The true freshman had started just two games all season, until the WNIT. She started all six games in their tournament run and along with that, she posted five of her best offensive outputs of the season.
Her 24 points against Ohio is her new career high. She added 22 against Minnesota, 17 against Alabama, 15 against UCLA and finally 14 points in the championship.
Those five games were her best scoring outputs of the season.
Coach Aaron Johnston said she wasn’t just a freshman, but she was a true threat and one of the best perimeter players in the tournament.
Timmer’s ability to attack on all three levels and then turn around and defend at a high level is what makes her so versatile on the court.
#4: Jacks dominate the glass
When asked about his team’s rebounding in the championship game, coach Johnston responded by saying he thought their defense and rebounding were solid the entire tournament.
Statistically, he’s very much so correct. SDSU outrebounded their six opponents by a total of 80 rebounds (262-182). Drake was the lone opponent to outrebound the Jacks in a single game.
State’s lopsided win over Seton Hall was a blowout on the boards as well. The Jacks grabbed an impressive 57 rebounds to the Pirates’ 32.
On average, SDSU grabbed 13.3 more rebounds per game.
That dominance was certainly key in the Jackrabbits’ run to the WNIT title.
#5: The future looks bright
SDSU’s biggest contributions offensively came from Haleigh Timmer, Myah Selland, Tori Nelson and Paiton Burckhard.
Those four were their leading scorers and they will return for the 2022-23 season.
They will have to replace four seniors in Tylee Irwin, Haley Greer, Addison Hirschman and Lauren Rongisch. Irwin is the all-time leader in games played at SDSU.
It’ll be difficult to fill the shoes of Irwin who has contributed a lot to the Jacks, but they’ll hopefully have Paige Meyer returning from her injury.
SDSU’s six game run could certainly turn to fuel for next season.