BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The SDSU Women also enter the Summit League tournament as the number one seed, after completing a perfect 14-0 conference season. But as they look to add a tournament championship to their resume, they’ll have to do so without their leading scorer Myah Selland, and potentially without starting forward Tori Nelson.
Both Myah Selland and Tori Nelson suffered injuries in the Jacks game against NDSU back on February 19th, and haven’t played since.
“Sometimes those injuries are really tough and they’re just hard to have to work through. But they also create opportunities for people,” Head Coach Aaron Johnston said.
In the 3 games since losing both Selland and Nelson, Junior forward Paiton Burckhard and Senior guard Tylee Irwin have combined to put up 40 points a night
“Paiton last year was a focus for our offense, we ran a ton of things through Paiton last year. Now shes kind of back in the mode again. So, shes had that role and given some of it up and now kind of back in it. Tylee’s really exploded I think as a go to player and maybe she wasn’t quite that in early January when we were running some different things,” Johnston said.
Although Irwin and Burckhard have stepped into bigger roles themselves, they understand it takes a full team effort
“People like Maddie and Hayley and Lindsey, like everyone’s kind of had to step up and, you know, give it a littler more effort, but also just bring that energy for us.” Senior Guard Tylee Irwin said.
“A lot of people had to step up and play bigger roles and I just think that says a lot about our team. Everybody’s ready to go when they need to be ready to go,” Junior Forward Paiton Burckhard said.
The Jackrabbits may enter the tournament short-handed, but they aren’t short of motivation
“Not only do we want to prove people wrong but the people that got injuried, we’re playing for them every single game,” Burckhard said.
“We’ll have some things we’ll have to adjust and get better at going into that first round game, but certainly I like the momentum that we have coming off of the regular season and now it’s about trying to put that in perspective and really get the right mindset going into the conference tournament,” Johnston said.
The SDSU Women play Omaha in the Quarterfinals. Tipoff for that game is set for 11:45 a.m.