BROOKINGS – The South Dakota State women took care of business on Thursday night as they blew out St. Thomas, 99-57. It was the Jackrabbits 10th-straight win as they have begun Summit League play 10-0.
The Jacks (16-5 overall) were in command from the opening whistle. SDSU outscored St. Thomas 17-4 in the first six minutes of the game and then led 26-10 at the end of the first. SDSU then went on a 13-0 run to start the second quarter and the Jacks pushed their lead to 58-25 by halftime.
The Tommies (7-13, 2-8) hung around with the Jacks in the third quarter as they were only outscored 17-16, but SDSU then held a 24-16 advantage in the fourth to make the final 99-57.
SDSU shot 64.8% from the field and was 7-11 from three. SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said he really liked the shot selection from his team on Thursday night.
“We were really efficient. … We didn’t turn it over, we made extra passes. [UST] was very physical, which I think is something we’ve seen from a lot of teams. It’s been a bit of plan [against us] and we have to be able to adjust and handle it. … I thought we were really patient with how they played us and got the ball where we wanted to get it and did a nice job of finishing shots,” Johnston said.
10 of the 13 players that played for the Jacks scored and five of them were in double figures. Myah Selland led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds. Haleigh Timmer had 16 points and Paiton Burckhard had 10 points and five rebounds. Kallie Theisen and Brooklyn Meyer came off the bench and scored 14 and 12 points, respectively. Madison Mathiowetz had eight points.
SDSU usually has a 10-player rotation and although Johnston wouldn’t say it was for sure the deepest team he’s ever had; he did say that it was one of them.
“I always hesitate to say deepest ever, but we’re an incredibly deep team,” Johnston said. “[Theisen] and [Brooklyn Meyer] off the bench are a handful for other teams, and they can do a lot. … And then [Madysen Vlastuin] and [Madison Mathiowetz] are good players too and Paige [Meyer] as backup point guard [is great]. We’re just really fortunate to have everybody moving in the same direction.
“But the only way depth is an asset is if everybody plays to their role. If depth is everybody kind of trading time and not playing to their potential, then it’s not affective. When everybody plays well, then depth I think can wear teams out.”
This was the fifth straight home game that the Jacks have won by more than 30 points. SDSU has shot 58.4% from field in those games at Frost Arena and Selland said that the crowd has really fueled the impressive offensive numbers in this stretch of home games.
“I think Frost is just a special place. We have a really electric atmosphere when we play here and I think that crowd really gives us confidence and it’s something that we feed off of a lot,” Selland said.
The Jacks held UST to 46.5% shooting and the Tommies were 3-10 from three. Jade Hill led the Tommies with 17 points. Jordyn Lamker and Jo Langbehn each had nine points.
The Jacks won the rebound battle 29-19. SDSU had just 10 turnovers and went 22-31 at the free throw line. The Tommies had 19 turnovers, which turned into 27 Jackrabbit points, and UST went 14-26 at the free throw line.
The Jackrabbits now have just seven games left until the Summit League Tournament, which will be played March 4-7 in Sioux Falls. SDSU has gone undefeated in Summit League play just one time in program history (2020-21) and although they are the clear favorite in the conference, Theisen said they have to take it just one game at a time.
“Every game is a new game. We just want to focus on our next opponent and it’s been fun at Frost, and we’re excited to it again on Saturday,” she said.
SDSU will host Western Illinois (8-13, 3-7) on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Jacks will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX on Saturday and will be wearing special throwback uniforms. You can watch the game on Midco Sports.