Well-balanced Jackrabbits defeat Drake

BROOKINGS, S.D. (GoJacks.com) — South Dakota State women’s basketball remains unbeaten at home after defeating Drake 87-73 Tuesday night at Frost Arena.

The Jacks, now 4-2 on the season, shot a season-best 53.8 percent from the field, recorded 23 assists and outscored Drake in the paint 48-36.

Myah Selland recorded her fourth-career double-double and second of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while dishing four assists. Tori Nelson followed with a season-high 18 points. Tylee Irwin tallied 14 points, while Lindsey Theuninck and Haley Greer added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Theuninck and Greer each added a team-high five assists.

A hot start for the Jackrabbit offense made it 10-0 early as the Jacks made their first five field goal attempts. After Drake scored its first three baskets, State responded with another large run, this time 12 unanswered points. Drake ended the quarter on a 7-0 run, but the Jackrabbits maintained a nine-point lead (27-18).

Drake continued to reduce its deficit in the second quarter, but the Jacks were able to respond to any threat and maintained the lead. Six unanswered points, including baskets from Irwin, Selland and Mesa Byom, pushed State’s lead back to double figures with 4:17 to play in the second. The Bulldogs continued to fight, but the Jacks held onto a 42-35 advantage at the half.

A 7-2 run to start the second half for the Jackrabbits brought their lead up to 12 with 8:23 to play in the third quarter. Drake responded with a 7-0 run to make it a 56-50 game midway through the quarter. The two teams traded scores in the final 4:25 of the frame with each displaying a balanced offensive attack. The Jacks maintained a 70-61 lead at the end of the third.

Offense was difficult to come by for both teams in the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter. Selland’s layup with 6:35 to play broke almost a seven minute Jackrabbit scoring drought and ignited a 7-0 run. Irwin’s jumper with under four minutes to play put the Jacks ahead by 12, but Drake responded with a 6-0 run to cut the lead back to single digits. However six made free throws and a Nelson layup in the final 1:35 secured the 87-73 win for the Jackrabbits.

South Dakota State begins a two-game road trip as they take on No. 20 Missouri State Saturday in Springfield, Mo. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.