USD, SDSU Earn WNIT First Round Victories

South Dakota State's Clarissa Ober (Photo by Inertia Sports Media)
South Dakota State's Clarissa Ober (Photo by Inertia Sports Media)

WNIT First Round

Saint Louis 62, IUPUI 57 | Recap
ST. LOUIS (iupuijags.com) -- A truly saddening sight after the Jags put together an incredible season, the IUPUI women's basketball team (24-9, 12-4) saw their season end in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at the hands of Saint Louis, 57-62 Thursday night (March 16).  It brings an end to a year in which the Jags generated a ton of buzz around one of the most underrated programs in the nation, as head coach Austin Parkinson has truly created an up-and-coming mid-major force out of the Summit League.
 
The Jags shot 22-for-53 on the night, going 8-for-19 from three-point range.  Defensively, IUPUI blanked the Billikens from beyond the arc, as Saint Louis was unable to convert a single three-point shot.  SLU came away with the battle for the boards however, outrebounding IUPUI 42-22.  Mikale Rogers was the lead scorer for the Jags, finishing with 17 points and six rebounds with a block.  She was limited in her court time due to getting into foul trouble in the third quarter, eventually fouling out in the fourth.  Kelsi Byrd had a season-high and career-high tying 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting in her farewell game, going 4-for-7 from three-point range.  Jenna Gunn was strong early, picking up nine points, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
 
Holly Hoopingarner was able to add six points, while Caitlyn Tolen, Sydney Hall and Danielle Lawrence were held to just three points each.  Saint Louis commanded the paint, putting up 46 points to just 16 for IUPUI.  The tables turned in each half, as SLU had 14 turnovers at halftime before the Jags could only force four in the second and committed nine of their own.

South Dakota 78, North Dakota 55 | Recap
VERMILLION, S.D. (goyotes.com) -- South Dakota sophomore guard Allison Arens recorded her 13th 20-point game this season to lead the Coyotes past North Dakota 78-55 in the opening round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Thursday.

An all-Summit League first team pick, Arens was nearly perfect in shooting 11-of-13 from the field to reach 24 points. The effort moved her to eighth on South Dakota's single-season charts with 524 points this season. Arens also swiped away a career high seven steals and handed out four assists in the game.

South Dakota State 94, Northern Illinois 84 | Recap
BROOKINGS, S.D. (gojacks.com) -- The seniors on the South Dakota State University women's basketball team played Thursday night like they didn't want their collegiate careers to end.
 
Before a crowd of 2,610 fans in Frost Arena for the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament against Northern Illinois, seniors Clarissa Ober, Ena Viso and Kerri Young combined for 53 points and 27 rebounds to power the Jackrabbits to a 94-84 win over the Huskies.
 
Ober recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to go with a season-best 6 blocked shots. The 20 rebounds are the second-most in SDSU history.
 
Young scored a career-high 28 points, 19 coming in the first half, which was highlighted by a 5-for-5 performance beyond the 3-point arc.


ABOUT SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League features women's basketball teams from nine member institutions: Denver, Fort Wayne, IUPUI, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois. In 2015-16, The Summit League had its first national postseason tournament champion, the No. 1 team in the final Mid-Major Top 25 poll and recorded the highest graduation success rate (GSR) in NCAA Division I for the second consecutive season. Called "March's Best-Kept Secret" by USA Today, The Summit League Basketball Championships further established itself as one of the crown jewels of women's tournaments with a second consecutive season of record-setting attendance figures that rank among the top in Division I. This season's event returns to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 4-7, 2017. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.

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#SummitWBB Final Notebook
April 12, 2017 #SummitWBB Final Notebook