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Jackrabbits Nearly Score 100 In Regular Season Finale Win Over Coyotes In Vermillion

South Dakota State put the rest of the Summit League on notice Sunday – if you want to beat us in the conference tournament, you better bring your offense – as the Jacks put up 99 points in a 99-88 win over South Dakota in the regular season finale.

The offensive output with the highest point total for SDSU this season, beating their previous high by 11 points.

The DakotaDome is typically not regarded as one of the top shooting environments in college basketball, but the cavernous open spaces didn’t bother the Jackrabbits and Coyotes in the first half.  In the first four minutes of the game, SDSU nailed four 3-pointers, while USD was hitting 67 percent early to trail by one at 14-13.

By the time Chloe Cornemann buried the Jacks’ fifth three of the half, seven minutes later, SDSU had built an 8-point lead.

But the Coyotes managed five threes of their own, including three from Raeshel Contreras, and a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes, to stay within five at the break, 47-42, despite being outshot 57 to 44 percent in the first half.

USD wasted no time erasing that deficit in the second half, reeling off five straight in the first 1:20 to pull even, later extending that lead to two.

But South Dakota State struck again from behind the 3-point arc when Carissa Ober and Tara Heiser went-back-to-back, keying a 13-4 run, giving the Jacks a lead they would never relinquish.

SDSU would run the advantage to as many as 11, but USD did get it to within seven in the final minute, only to see the Jacks seal the game from the free throw line, where they outscored the Coyotes 35-25.

The visitors shot 52 percent on the afternoon with eight 3-pointers, and outrebounded USD 37-25, including 11 offensive rebounds.

Megan Waytashek led SDSU with 18 points, Gabby Boever and Mariah Clarin each had 14, Steph Paluch with 13, Clarissa Ober 12.

The Coyotes also had five players in double figures led by Contreras with 18 points, Polly Harrington, playing in her final game at USD had 16 points and six rebounds, and did grab a ring after the game – an engagement ring from her boyfriend, who proposed at center court.  Lisa Loeffler had 16, Nicole Seekamp 15, Tia Hemiller 11.  Three Coyote players (Contreras, Hemiller, and Margaret McCloud) fouled out.

South Dakota State (22-8/13-1) is the number one seed in next week’s Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls, and has a bye until the semifinals, Monday, March 10th.

South Dakota (16-13/7-7) is the number four seed and will play number five Western Illinois, Sunday, March 9th at noon.

SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S RECAP: SDSU 75 USD 61

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