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Jacks Roll in Preseason WNIT

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BROOKINGS, S.D. — Seven South Dakota State players scored in double figures, leading the Jackrabbits to an 87-38 victory over Utah Valley in the first round of the Preseason Women’s NIT at Frost Arena.
The Jackrabbits will host Hampton (Va.) in second-round action at 7 p.m. Monday. Hampton recorded a 69-64 victory Friday at in-state rival James Madison. Utah Valley will play in a consolation quadrant Nov. 19-20 at a site to be determined.

SDSU opened the game firing on all cylinders, hitting its first seven shots from the field in building a 17-4 lead in the first four and a half minutes. Jill Young connected on a three-pointer on the Jackrabbits’ first possession of the game and SDSU created a number of easy baskets in transition, including three baskets in the paint by Leah Dietel, during the opening run.

The Wolverines were able to trim the deficit to single digits — at 19-10 — only once the rest of the way.

After a three-pointer by UVU’s Sammie Jensen made the score 31-19 with 5 minutes and 37 seconds remaining in the front half, SDSU closed the opening stanza with a 14-0 run. Redshirt freshman Tara Heiser hit a pair of three-pointers and Young closed the half with her third trey of the half seconds before the buzzer.

SDSU finished the first half 16-of-24 from the field, 66.7 percent, including 6-of-10 from long range.

It was more of the same in the second half as the Jackrabbits put together spurts of 13-0 and 14-0 to lead by as many as 52 in the final minute.
All five starters scored in double figures, led by Young with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Jennie Sunnarborg tallied 12 points, eight rebounds and tied a career high with six blocked shots. Dietel and Ashley Eide each tallied 11, with Kristin Rotert adding 10.

Heiser, playing in her collegiate debut, went 4-for-4 from long range en route to 14 points in only nine minutes of action to lead the Jackrabbit reserves. Katie Lingle added a career-high 10 points.
The Jackrabbits cooled slightly in the second half, finishing the game 32-of-54 from the field, 59.3 percent. SDSU was 11-of-19 on three-pointers and 12 of-14 at the line, 85.7 percent.
Utah Valley finished the night 15-of-56 from the field, 26.8 percent, including 7-of-20 from three-point range. The Wolverines, who committed 25 turnovers, were only 1-of-5 at the free throw line.
Sammie Jensen led the Wolverines with 11 points and seven rebounds. SDSU held a 42-26 advantage on the boards.

NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series, 3-0 … the Jackrabbits have won 18 consecutive season openers … Rotert upped her career scoring total to 1,061 points and her career three-pointer total to 191 — three behind Megan Vogel (194 from 2004-07) for third place … Young increased her career three-point total to 149 — three behind Andrea Verdegan (152 from 2005-08) for ninth place … the Jackrabbits were credited with 24 assists, with Steph Paluch recording a team-high six … attendance was listed at 1,346

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