College women's basketball: Jackrabbits come out on top of UT Martin

South Dakota State’s Madison Mathiowetz dribbles with the ball during a 55-38 victory over UT Martin on Saturday. (Megan Golver/SDSU Athletics)

MARTIN, Tenn. — The South Dakota State women improved to 2-1 on the season after an impressive defensive performance lifted them to a 55-38 victory over the University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) on Saturday afternoon.

The Jackrabbits held the Skyhawks to just 21.2% shooting from the field and UT Martin was 4-of-16 from three.

SDSU led 10-2 at the midway point of the first quarter but the Skyhawks went on an 8-2 run to pull within two points with 2:33 to play in the first. The Jacks answered that run and led 17-11 heading into the second.

The Jacks then put the defensive clamps on in the second quarter as they held UT Martin to seven points in the quarter. Unfortunately the Skyhawks played better defense as SDSU had just four points in the second frame and only led 21-18 heading into the locker room.

SDSU would then pull away in the third quarter. The Jacks opened the quarter with 11 straight points and led 32-18 four minutes into the third. In total they outscored the Skyhawks 20-8 in the third and took a 41-26 lead into the fourth. That proved to be the difference as SDSU outscored UT Martin 14-12 in the final quarter, leading to the 55-38 victory.

SDSU shot 47.5% from the field and was 6-of-13 from three. Mesa Byom led the Jacks with 14 points and four rebounds. Brooklyn Meyer had nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Madysen Vlastuin had eight points and six rebounds. Tori Nelson had eight points, Jenna Hopp had seven points and Madison Mathiowetz had six points and five assists.

The Skyhawks were led by Kenley McCarn who had 14 points. Anaya Brown had eight points and seven rebounds. Norah Clark and Morgan Borgstadt each had seven points.

Each team had 32 rebounds. The Jacks had 14 turnovers and the Skyhawks had 11 turnovers. SDSU had 10 blocks. The Jacks were 11-of-16 at the free throw line and UT Martin was 12-of-18 at the line.

The Jacks will face a daunting task on Monday night as they travel to No. 1 ranked South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 3-0 and have won by an average of 42 points per game. All three of those were power five opponents and two of them were ranked in the Top 25. Tip off between the Jackrabbits and Gamecocks is scheduled for 6 p.m.