Jackrabbits Cruise in Victory Over Denver in Quarterfinals

Photo by Inertia Sports Media
Photo by Inertia Sports Media

Women's Basketball Championship Page

First Half Highlights // Second Half Highlights

The Basics
Score: No. 2 South Dakota State 79, No. 7 Denver 61
Records: South Dakota State (22-8), Denver (8-23)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Megan Waytashek scored a game-high 21 points as second seed South Dakota State defeated seventh seed Denver 79-61 in the opening round of the 2015 Summit League women's basketball tournament Saturday afternoon at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.

The win was SDSU's tenth in the last 11 starts, with the lone loss being 77-72 at Denver Feb. 11. The Jacks are now 22-8 and will play in Monday's semi-finals. Denver, which was runnerup in the tourney last year, ended 8-23.

SDSU led  41-34 at halftime before Denver opened the second half with an 8-0 run to give the Pioneers the lead at 42-41 on a basket by Morgan Van Riper-Rose with 16:52 to play. But the Jacks regained the lead on a jumper by Alexis Alexander and went on to build a 21-point lead.

Mariah Clarin added 13 points for SDSU while Macy Miller added 11. Waytashek also led the Jacks to a 40-31 rebounding advantage with eight boards.

Van Riper-Rose led Denver with 19 points and Jacolyn Poss added 14.

SDSU shot 46 percent and had 22 assists on 27 field goals (27-59). Denver shot 40 percent, but made just 8-of-27 attempts, 29 per cent, in the second half.

Turning Point
Denver opened the second half on an 8-0 run after trailing 41-34 at halftime to take a one-point lead. From there, South Dakota State went on a 12-3 capped by a Kerri Young three-pointer to give the Jackrabbits a 55-45 lead at the 9:22-mark of the second half. SDSU wouldn't look back after that went on to win by 18.

Inside The Box Score

  • Megan Waytashek (SDSU) was the games top scorer (21) and top rebounder (8), she was also a perfect seven-for-seven from the free throw line.
  • Morgan Van Riper-Rose lead Denver with 19 points.
  • South Dakota State shot 58.8% (10-for-17) from behind the arc.
  • The Jackrabbits out-rebounded the Pioneers 40-31

News & Notes

  • Session attendance of 8,171 sets a new all-time women's session record. The previous record was 6,153 (2013 championship session).
  • South Dakota State improves to 16-1 all-time in Summit League Tournament play.
  • SDSU's Macy Miller equaled her career-high with six assists.

Up Next
South Dakota State advances to the semifinals and will face the winner of Sunday's contest between No. 3 Oral Roberts and No. 6 North Dakota State. The semi-final game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. CT tip-off and will be televised regionally on Midco Sports Network and nationally on ESPN3.