Jacks hold off NIU, 59-58
DEKALB, Ill. - Leah Dietel and Gabby Boever turned in season-high performances of 13 and 12 points, respectively, to lead a balanced South Dakota State squad to a 59-58 victory over Northern Illinois in non-conference women's basketball action Wednesday night.
The Jackrabbits, playing their first true road game of the season, improved to 3-2 overall. NIU, which was playing its home opener, dropped to 2-2.
Northern Illinois scored the first six points of the game before the Jackrabbits knotted the game at 9-all on a basket by Tara Heiser. SDSU took its first lead, 15-12, on a Boever three-pointer with 11 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the half. The Jackrabbits put together a 10-2 run late in the half, building a 30-23 advantage on a trey by Megan Waytashek.
SDSU led 30-26 at halftime.
In the second half, NIU tied the game at 33-all before the Jackrabbits again pushed the margin to six points midway through the final stanza. The Huskies came back to take a momentary 50-49 lead with under five minutes to play before Ashley Eide gave SDSU the lead for good at 54-52 with a pair of free throws. Another Eide free throw with 36 seconds remaining increased the lead to 58-53 and Gabby Boever connected on 1-of-2 free throws with four seconds remaining before NIU's Danny Pulliam hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to provide the final outcome.
Dietel tallied her 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, while Boever was 3-for-5 from three-point range en route to her dozen. Eide contributed 10 points and a team-high six rebounds. The Jackrabbits' other two starters, Megan Waytashek and Mariah Clarin, finished with respective totals of nine and seven points.
The Jackrabbits finished with their best field goal percentage of the young season, ending the game 21-of-47 from the field for 44.7 percent. However, SDSU struggled from the perimeter by going 5-of-18 on three-point attempts and only converting 12-of-21 free throw attempt, 57.1 percent.
NIU ended the night 23-of-47 from the field, 48.9 percent, including 6-of-14 from long range. The Huskies made 6-of-11 free throws, 54.5 percent.
Jada Buggs led all scorers with 16 for NIU. Satavia Taylor tallied 10 points before fouling out.
Rebounding was even at 29. McKenzie Hoelmenn grabbed a game-high seven rebounds for the Huskies. Katie Lingle shared high-rebound honors for the Jackrabbits with six boards.
The Jackrabbits will face another Mid-American Conference opponent Friday, traveling to Central Michigan. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Central) at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series, 2-0 ... the Jackrabbits improved to 168-68 against NCAA Division I opponents since moving up from Division II at the start of the 2004-05 season ... Boever tied a career high with her 12 points, matching her total in the 2012 Summit League Championship semifinal versus IUPUI ... Eide's six rebounds were a season high ... the Jackrabbits committed a season-low 16 turnovers and forced 18 NIU miscues ... NIU led 19-8 in bench points ... attendance was 423