Jackrabbit women cruise to Summit League Tournament title

March 8, 2023

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Haleigh Timmer scored 13 of her 18 points in the first half when the outcome was essentially settled and top-seeded South Dakota State defeated sixth-seeded Omaha 93-51 on Tuesday to win the Summit League Tournament championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Timmer was 7-of-8 shooting and made all four of her 3-point attempts. Paige Meyer added 16 points, shooting 5 of 6 from the floor and making all five of her free throws. Paiton Burckhard had 14 points and two-time league player of the year Myah Selland scored 10 of her 11 in the first half.

The Jackrabbits shot 62%, made 13 of 19 3-point tries and scored 29 points off 17 turnovers, including 10 steals. Tori Nelson blocked four shots and Kallie Theisen three.

Katie Keitges scored 11 points for the Mavericks (15-17), who shot 34%.

The Jackrabbits (28-5) never trailed, led 21-8 after the first quarter and 44-16 at the half, shooting 65% to 20% for the Mavericks. A 12-0 run extended the lead to 30 late in the half.

The 42-point margin of victory is the largest in the tournament’s history.

“It was a great game for us,” Jackrabbits coach Aaron Johnston said in a postgame TV interview. “You never know how these are going to go. Obviously, Omaha has been playing really well. Earlier this year they had us down at half and had a really tough game. So kind of felt like it might be that again but we were really locked in defensively here.”

After a 62-44 loss at home to top-ranked South Carolina on Dec. 15, the Jackrabbits swept through an undefeated Summit League season, winning by an average of 27 points. Their three league tournament victories extends their program-record win streak to 21.

The Jackrabbits (28-5) are 10-2 in Summit League title games and will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2021 when they received an at-large bid. Their last league tournament title came in 2019 when they went on to reach the Sweet 16.

South Dakota State beat the Mavericks in their regular-season meetings 68-61 in Omaha and 87-54 at home.

The sixth-seeded Mavericks (8-11) were picked to finish last in the preseason league poll. They beat North Dakota and Kansas City to reach the title game.