Jacks Open Summit Slate With NDSU
BROOKINGS, SD — The South Dakota State University women’s basketball team will attempt to put a bow on a successful month of December as it hosts North Dakota State Sunday afternoon in the Summit League opener for both teams.
Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Frost Arena. The game is scheduled to be televised on Midco Sports Net and Fox College Sports Pacific.
The Jackrabbits enter Sunday’s matchup having won five of six games during December. SDSU is 8-5 overall after winning its last two games – a 72-57 victory over Delaware State on Dec. 18, followed by a 64-58 win at Georgetown on Dec. 21. The only blemish on the Jackrabbit record in December has been a 60-50 setback at nationally ranked Penn State on Dec. 16.
North Dakota State, meanwhile, comes into league play with a 4-8 overall record. The Bison, who were picked fourth in the Summit League preseason poll, wrapped up non-conference play Dec. 23 with a 60-48 home win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee to end a five-game losing streak.
The Bison have been bitten by the injury bug again this season, playing most of the year without starting center Janae Burich. Katie Birkel, who sat out last season due to injury, has returned for her senior season in 2012-13 and leads the squad with an average of 12.2 points per game.
THE SERIES: Sunday’s matchup will mark the 76th meeting in women’s basketball between North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Longtime rivals at the NCAA Division II level in the North Central Conference and now at the Division I level as members of The Summit League, NDSU holds a 38-37 series advantage.
The Jackrabbits have closed the gap considerably during the Division I era, holding a 14-3 advantage. The Bison ushered in the Division I era by sweeping the initial season series between the two squads as D-I foes during the 2004-05 season. SDSU then won 10 consecutive meetings until NDSU recorded a 78-71 victory in the 2010-11 Summit League opener on Dec. 4, 2010, at Frost Arena.
SDSU recorded a pair of lopsided victories last season, winning 88-52 in Fargo on Jan. 20, followed by an 88-43 Jackrabbit victory on Feb. 18 at Frost Arena.
In the first meeting, Ashley Eide, who earned team MVP honors in the annual Katherine Bergum Classic, scored 14 first-half points en route to a game-high 20 on
7-of-11 shooting from the field. Jennie Sunnarborg finished with 17 points in 15 minutes, with Steph Paluch and reserve Rachel Walters rounding out SDSU’s double-figure scorers with 10 each.
The Jackrabbits ended the game 29-of-51 from the field, 56.9 percent, including a 10-of-16 performance from beyond the arc. SDSU also held a 40-33 rebounding advantage, with Eide recording a game-high seven boards. She also contributed three assists and three steals.
Janae Burich led the Bison with 12 points, with Danielle Muri adding 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.
In the rematch at Frost Arena, Steph Paluch scored a career-high 18 points and drained four of the Jackrabbits’ season-high 15 three-pointers as SDSU clinched a share of the Summit League regular season title.
Besides Paluch, three other Jackrabbits finished in double figures. Ashley Eide and Sunnarborg each tallied 17, with Jill Young adding 13.
The Jackrabbits made 15-of-33 from beyond the arc and finished the game 33-of-64 overall from the field, 51.6 percent. NDSU, meanwhile, failed to convert a three-point attempt, going 0-for-8 from long distance.
Jamie Van Kirk paced the Bison with 12 points, followed by 11 from Janae Burich.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Jackrabbits continue their homestand with a pair of games at Frost Arena next week. SDSU rings in the new year with a Jan. 3 game against Kansas City, followed by a Jan. 6 matinee with in-state rival South Dakota in the South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn.
Courtesy: South Dakota State University