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Sunnarborg Leads Jacks to Big Win

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BROOKINGS, S.D. — Jennie Sunnarborg scored a career-high 28 points to lead the South Dakota State University women’s basketball team to a weekend sweep of Summit League play with an 82-57 victory over UMKC Monday night at Frost Arena.

SDSU improved to 10-12 overall and 6-5 in Summit League play. UMKC dropped to 9-13 overall, 4-7 in The Summit League.

The Jackrabbits, who never trailed in the game, set the tone early with aggressive play on the offensive end, scoring the first seven points of the game and racing out to a 15-1 lead. Jill Young canned a three-pointer and added a layup after a steal to put SDSU out front.

SDSU continued to extend its lead at the free throw line in the foul-filled first half, making 16-of-23 attempts, 69.6 percent, from the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes. The two squads combined to commit 28 fouls and attempt 38 free throws in the first half.

Sunnarborg, a junior forward, hit shots from all over the en route to 18 first-half points. The Osseo, Minn., native made both of her three-point attempts in the game and finished 10-of-18 from the field and 6-of-8 on free throws.

The Jackrabbits led 43-26 at halftime, but UMKC scored the first seven points of the second half to pull to within 10. The Kangaroos trimmed the margin to eight, 47-39, with 15 minutes and 28 seconds to play in the game and were nine down with 12 minutes to play. However, SDSU quickly recovered to maintain a comfortable lead the rest of the way, taking its first 20-point lead of the night on a three-pointer by Macie Michelson with five minutes remaining.

SDSU’s largest lead was 27 points with under two minutes to play.

Besides Sunnarborg’s career night, the Jackrabbits also received double-digit scoring performances from the backcourt tandem of Michelson (12) and Young (10).

SDSU finished the game 24-of-53 from the field, 45.3 percent, including 7-for-16 on three-pointers. The Jackrabbits made 11-of-12 free throw attempts in the second half to wrap up the game 27-of-35, 77.1 percent.

Steph Paluch hauled in a career-high eight rebounds to pace the Jackrabbits’ 39-35 advantage on the boards. Brianna Eldridge tallied a game-high 10 rebounds to lead UMKC.

The Kangaroos recorded nearly identical field goal totals in each half, ending the night 19-of-56, 33.9 percent, with a 4-for-12 effort from beyond the arc. UMKC made 15-of-23 free throw attempts for 65.2 percent.

Kaycie Boyles and Eilise O’Connor each scored 12 points to lead the Kangaroos. Boyles scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half.

SDSU goes back on the road this week, starting with a Saturday matinee at Centenary (La.). Tipoff time is set for 2 p.m. at the Gold Dome in Shreveport, La.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series by an 8-1 count … the Jackrabbits improved to 53-12 in Summit League regular season games since joining the league at the start of the 2007-08 season … SDSU evened its home-court record at 6-6 this season … Young upped her career three-point total to 193, moving to within one of tying Megan Vogel (194 three-pointers from 2004-07) for fourth place on the Jackrabbit career chart … SDSU set a season high for the second game in a row, making 27 free throws … the Jackrabbits went a combined 53-of-77, 68.8 percent, from the line over the last two games … Sunnarborg’s previous career high was 24 points in a win over Hampton (Va.) earlier this season … Sunnarborg reached the 20-point plateau for the seventh time this season and her 28 points were the most by a Jackrabbit player since Maria Boever scored 28 against Western Illinois in the Summit League tournament semifinals last March … Paluch career high in rebounds … SDSU scored 80-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time this season … the Jackrabbits were credited with 17 assists against 15 turnovers … all nine SDSU players to see action scored as the Jackrabbits held a 21-17 edge in points off the bench … SDSU ended the month of January with a 5-3 record … attendance was 1,009

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