If It’s March It Must Be Time For South Dakota State To Defend A Summit League Tournanment Crown
As the Summit League Women’s Basketball Tournament returns to Sioux Falls for the sixth straight year, one thing is constant – South Dakota State has won every tourney title since the event moved here in March 2008.
The Jackrabbits latest title defense opens Monday afternoon, as top seeded SDSU gets a first round bye.
South Dakota State put the finishing touches on a 13-1 regular season with road wins over Denver and South Dakota last weekend.
In Colorado, the Jacks fell behind by 13 early, but used a 22-3 run to get back in it and go on to win by 14.
Head coach Aaron Johnston told me the Pioneers had a lot to do with his teams’ rough opening moments:
Three days later, the Jacks closed out the regular season with an 11-point win at South Dakota.
SDSU again suffered thru cold shooting at the beginning of the game, but did find success from behind the three-point arc, hitting five early to stay in it. The Jacks eventually took a 7-point halftime lead, only to see USD rally to take a second half lead.
But a couple of key triples gave the Jacks the lead for good later in the second.
Coach Johnston says the Coyotes threw a different defensive wrinkle at his team in the first half:
Now the Jackrabbits head to the tournament knowing they’re the team to beat, but also for the first time not knowing who they’ll play their first game against, thank to an odd number of teams in the field this year.
Coach Johnston acknowledges there are some positives and negatives surrounding the 2014 tournament:
South Dakota State plays in the semifinals Monday at noon against the South Dakota – Western Illinois winner.