BROOKINGS, S.D. — South Dakota State’s senior duo of Jennie Sunnarborg and Jill Young combined for 41 points in their final regular season game at Frost Arena, leading the Jackrabbits to a 101-61 victory over Western Illinois Monday night.
SDSU improved to 21-8 overall and 16-2 in Summit League play. The top-seeded Jackrabbits will face No. 8 IPFW in the opening game of the Summit League Basketball Championship at noon Saturday in Sioux Falls. The Fighting Leathernecks will await their seeding, which will either be sixth or seventh, depending on an RPI tiebreaker with Oakland that will be announced Tuesday morning.
The two squads traded baskets through the first seven-plus minutes before the Jackrabbits took the lead for good at 19-17 on a Sunnarborg basket with 12:04 to play in the first half. Leading 26-23, SDSU reeled off an 11-2 run over three-and-a-half minute span to extend the lead to double figures for the first time. The Jackrabbits led 46-33 at halftime.
Ashley Eide opened second-half scoring with a three-pointer to ignite a 20-4 outburst. The Jackrabbit onslaught continued as the margin reached 35, 79-44, midway through the second half on a basket by freshman reserve forward Mariah Clarin. SDSU’s largest lead of the night was 43 points in the closing minutes.
From the field, SDSU shot 56.6 percent, 21-of-32, en route to 55 second-half points and finished the game 39-of-67 58.2 percent. The Jackrabbits went 8-for-21 on three-point attempts and 15-of-21 at the free throw line, 71.4 percent.
Sunnarborg made her first eight shots from the field and finished 9-of-10 from the floor as she led all scorers with 23 points. Young tallied 18 points, going 4-of-8 from long distance, and Eide contributed 15 points. Clarin rounded out the double figure scorers for the Jackrabbits with a career-high 10 points in only nine minutes of action.
Young also tallied a team-high six rebounds as the Jackrabbits recorded a 43-28 advantage on the boards.
Western Illinois received 14 points from both Valencia Kelly and Sadie Webb. The Fighting Leathernecks ended the night 25-of-64 from the field, 39.1 percent, including 5-of-22 from three-point range. At the line, WIU converted 6-of-8 attempts, 75 percent.
Michele Salvatori led Western Illinois with seven rebounds.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series 10-1 and has won each of the last 10 meetings … the Jackrabbits finished the regular season with a 13-1 home record and improved to 40-5 (.889 winning percentage) at Frost Arena against Summit League opponents… SDSU is 75-15 (.833 winning percentage) in Summit League regular season games since joining the league at the start of the 2007-08 campaign … Sunnarborg reached the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season and 18th time in her career ... Sunnarborg has made seven consecutive three-point attempts over the last three games ... Sunnarborg moved into 24th place on the SDSU career scoring charts with 1,176 points, passing both Rachel Halsrud (1,154 points from 1991-94) and Lisa Kurtenbach (1,174 points from 1986-89) … Sunnarborg also moved into a tie for fourth place in career blocked shots with 108 ...Young upped her school-record three-point total to 292 and career scoring total to 1,302 points, good for 18th in Jackrabbit history ... Tara Heiser set season highs with eight points and three steals, and matched a season high with five assists ... the Jackrabbits held a 36-24 advantage in bench points ... SDSU set team season highs for points (101), field goals made (39), field goal attempts (67), field goal percentage (.582) and assists (26) ... the Jackrabbits reached the century mark for the third time against a Division I opponent and first since a 105-47 victory over Centenary (La.) on March 1, 2008 ... attendance was 1,710