Jackrabbits continue to battle through injuries, remain perfect in conference play

BROOKINGS- South Dakota State women's basketball topped Western Illinois 75-45 on Saturday afternoon at Frost Arena in the Lamb Bonanza game.

The Jackrabbits improved to 11-6 on the season and 3-0 in Summit League action, while Western Illinois fell to 7-9, 1-2 Summit League.

The Jackrabbits' balanced attack was led by Tagyn Larson with 21 points. The senior added seven rebounds and two blocks, while shooting 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Rylie Cascio Jensen turned in 11 points and dished a team-high five assists.

Paiton Burckhard registered her first-ever double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Megan Bultsma tied her career-best for the second consecutive game as she scored 10 points. Tylee Irwin added to eight points and seven boards for the Jacks.

"Good game for us," said head coach Aaron Johnston. "I thought we played really well, defensively we did a nice job. We made it hard for them to get a lot of quality shots."

SDSU shot 42.1 percent from the field, while holding the Fighting Leathernecks to just 22.9 percent (16-of-70) shooting. The Jacks also held a 49-43 rebounding advantage.

Western Illinois started the game with an early 6-5 edge, but SDSU answered with 12 unanswered points to take the lead for good. A 3-pointer from Sydney Stapleton closed out the first quarter, giving the Jacks a 20-12 advantage.

The Jacks outscored WIU just 12-9 in the second frame, but a Cascio Jensen layup pushed the Jacks' lead to double figures. State went to the locker room ahead 32-21.

The hot-shooting Jacks opened the second half with three consecutive 3-pointers, including two from Irwin and one by Larson, to extend their advantage to 16 points. WIU answered with an 8-0 run of its own to cut the deficit in half. The Jacks outscored the Fighting Leathernecks 13-2 throughout the remainder of the quarter, capped by another Stapleton 3-pointer, to lead 58-39 headed into the final frame.

The Jackrabbits held WIU to just six points in the final quarter. Lindsey Theuninck, Cascio Jensen and Larson hit another trio of 3-pointers to put the Jacks ahead 69-42. Six unanswered points closed out the dominant 75-45 victory for SDSU.

"In the second half to see us start making some 3's was good," Johnston said. "Just taking great shots, a lot of good players that sometimes have been just in and out for us right now from the perimeter. To see them step up and make some shots in multiple possessions there was really important and a big part on why we were able to create some space there in the second half on the scoreboard."

Game Notes
South Dakota State is now 25-2 all-time against Western Illinois.
The Jackrabbits shot a season-best 90 percent (18-of-20) from the charity stripe.
Paiton Burckhard recorded her first-ever double-double, including a career-best 11 rebounds.
Tagyn Larson reached 20-plus points for the fourth time in her career.
Jordan Ferrand scored a career-best four points, while Megan Bultsma scored a career-high 10 points for the third time.
SDSU shot 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from beyond the arc.

Up Next
South Dakota State travels to take on Denver on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT/7 p.m. MT.