Jackrabbits hold off IUPUI
BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University women's basketball team made the plays down the stretch to defeat IUPUI, 66-52, and secure the outright Summit League regular season title Saturday afternoon at Frost Arena.
With their 11th win in their last 12 outings, the Jackrabbits improved to 20-8 overall and 15-2 in league play. IUPUI dropped to 12-17 overall, 7-10 in The Summit League.
The Jackrabbits went to the free throw line early and often as they built a double-digit lead midway through the first half. SDSU, which never trailed, led 28-15 after two Katie Lingle free throws with 5:35 to play in the opening half. The Jackrabbits missed their first free throw attempt of the night, then made their final 14 of the opening stanza to lead 37-27 at intermission.
IUPUI trimmed the deficit to 43-30 on a Kerah Nelson three-pointer five minutes into the second half. The Jaguars pulled to within a basket at 46-44 midway through the half and trailed by only three, 50-47, following a Katie Comello three-pointer with 6:43 remaining.
SDSU again stemmed the tide at the free throw line with Tara Heiser and Jennie Sunnarborg each making a pair of free throws to ignite a decisive 16-3 run. Sunnarborg, who was 3-for-3 from behind the arc for the second game in a row, extended the lead to seven with under four minutes to play and fellow senior Jill Young scored six of her nine points in the final three minutes.
Sunnarborg led the Jackrabbits with 20 points, while Lingle contributed 13 points of the bench with 9-of-10 shooting from the line. Ashley Eide chipped in with 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds as SDSU controlled the boards with a 40-29 advantage.
The Jackrabbits ended the night 19-of-45 from the field, 42.2 percent, including 5-of-14 from three-point range. At the line, SDSU matched a season best by going 23-of-25, 92 percent.
Nelson was the lone player in double figures for IUPUI with a game-high 21 points, along with seven rebounds. Dawn Luster added nine points and three steals.
The Jaguars finished the game 22-of-64 from the field, 34.4 percent, including 4-of-17 from behind the arc. IUPUI was only 4-of-7 from the free throw line, 57.1 percent.
SDSU closes out the regular season Monday night, hosting Western Illinois on Military Appreciation Night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Frost Arena.
NOTES: SDSU has won all 11 meetings against IUPUI ... the Jackrabbits improved to 39-5 at home against Summit League opponents ... SDSU reached the 20-win mark for the ninth time in 11 seasons and for the 15th time in program history ... Sunnarborg has made her last six three-point attempts ... Sunnarborg moved into sole possession of 26th place on the SDSU career scoring list with 1,153 points, breaking a tie with Lori Fish (1,133 points from 1987-90) ... Young moved into 18th in career scoring with 1,284 points, passing both Carleen Rose (1,281 points from 1990-93) and Erin Reiten (1,281 points from 1993-96) ... SDSU held a 24-10 advantage in bench points ... Gabrielle Boever set a career high with five rebounds ... attendance was 3,018