SDSU sets 3-point record in 118-59 win over USD
BROOKINGS – The South Dakota State women made a statement on Saturday afternoon as the Jackrabbits dominated their in-state rival South Dakota, 118-59.
The 118 points were one-point shy of tying a single-game record for the Jacks, but they did set the single-game record for 3-pointer’s in a game as they made 17. The 59-point win was also the largest victory for the Jackrabbit women over the Coyotes. SDSU fifth year senior forward Paiton Burckhard, who led the Jacks with 22 points and eight rebounds, said that her and her teammates wanted to make a statement on Saturday against their long time rivals.
“There’s a lot of meaning behind these games and a lot of history. Being in my fifth year [at SDSU], there’s lot of history there, so I just really wanted to whoop up on them and I thought we handled that today,” Burckhard said.
Burckhard added that it was nice to shoot the ball so well from three on Saturday as the Jacks shot 53.1% from beyond the arc.
“It’s not like a thought where, oh we’re going to hit a [3-point record], but it starts to feel good when everyone is hitting their sweet spot. We were calling it ‘splashing’. But everyone was feeling it and it was so much fun. That’s when you know you’re having a good game, when everyone is smiling and having fun,” she said.
The Jackrabbits fell behind 9-5 3:39 into the game. SDSU would then outscore USD 25-5 in the final 6:21 of the quarter and led 30-14 at the end of one. SDSU head coach Johnston said he thought the defense picked up after the first three and a half minutes.
“They hit a couple three’s [right away] and we just didn’t get out to their shooters to be quite honest. … I thought we played really well at the beginning and it was just a matter of making and missing some open shots. After that I think our defense ratcheted it up some and offensively, we were really good throughout the game,” Johnston said.
Things got worse for the Coyotes in the second quarter as the Jacks would extend their lead to 61-30 by halftime. It continued to go bad for USD in the third as for the third straight quarter it gave up more than 30 points and the ‘Yotes trailed 94-43 at the end of the third.
SDSU (14-5, 7-0) shot 60% from the field. The Jacks held the Coyotes to 35.2% shooting from the field and they were 5-18 from three. The ‘Yotes (8-10, 4-3) also had 23 turnovers that led to 39 Jackrabbit points.
This was the third straight win for the Jackrabbit women and they outscored their opponents 317-194 in those three games. Even though SDSU played well in the previous two games, Johnston said he felt like Saturday was the most complete game for the Jacks.
“I think [this was the most complete game],” Johnston said. “Even in our last few games where we’ve won, we’ve had good quarters or stretches, but then we’ve had five or six minute stretches where we didn’t play great. I thought we came out in the third quarter a little bit flat and we were lucky enough to have a timeout there and we talked about every possession and not trading baskets and trying to be better defensively, and we came out after that and really locked down defensively.
“So, yeah, I think offensively and defensively it was a really complete [game]. It’s hard to think that you’re going to make that many shots, but we should play with that kind of focus offensively and it was good to see.”
Burckhard was one of six players that scored in double figures for the Jacks. Myah Selland and Haleigh Timmer each had 19 points. Dru Gylten had 12 points and six assists and Madysen Vlastuin had 12 points.
The final SDSU player in double figures was sophomore point guard Paige Meyer who had 14 points and five assists. Meyer missed the first 12 games of the season as she was recovering from a serious knee injury that she suffered in the final regular season game of last season. Johnston said it seemed like this week in practice Meyer took a huge step to getting back to 100%.
“I think even in the past week or so she’s taken several steps. I’ll say the same, I think she’s really healthy, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape and gaining confidence. I thought this past week, even in practice, you could just see an edge from Paige, and just a determination. She’s getting real close to getting 100% back. … Today she had a purpose about her and was hard to stop,” Johnston said.
The Coyotes were led by Carley Duffney who had 14 points and four rebounds. Grace Larkins had 10 points and Walker Demers had nine points. Morgan Hansen had eight points.
SDSU dominated almost every category on Saturday but they specifically had a big time edge on the glass. The Jacks had 44 rebounds compared to just 23 for Coyotes and 17 of those came on the offensive end. Burckhard said
“I think [the key is to] control [the rebounding] and not giving up until a whistle is blown or there’s a basket made. You just have to keep going and going, and I think all of us were doing that and we were fighting until the end and that really paid off,” she said.
The three straight wins for the Jacks came against the three teams that are behind SDSU in the standings. Johnston said that the wins certainly help build confidence for his team, but he feels like the way that they’ve been practicing these past two weeks has what really has led to such lopsided results.
“I hope [the team] draws a lot of confidence, not so much from the result, winning or losing, or the result of making shots or scoring, but I just hope they continue to draw confidence from the preparation of these past 10 or 12 practices. We’ve really practiced with a purpose and have practiced much better and I think that’s led to the results they’ve wanted,” Johnston said.
The Jacks will head back on the road next. They play at Omaha on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then will travel to Denver on Saturday and play the Pioneers at 1 p.m.