Seniors lead Jacks to Summit semis
SIOUX FALLS -- South Dakota State's senior trio of Leah Dietel, Ashley Eide and Katie Lingle combined for 48 points, leading the top-seeded Jackrabbits to a 67-53 victory over Oakland in the opening round of the Summit League Basketball Championship Saturday afternoon at the Sioux Falls Arena.
The Jackrabbits improved to 23-7 overall and advance to a semifinal matchup against either fourth-seeded Fort Wayne or No. 5 Western Illinois at 12:05 p.m. Monday. Oakland ended its season with a 9-20 record.
SDSU got off to a ragged start that included the Jackrabbits turning the ball over seven times in the first six minutes. Oakland led by five points on two occasions in the opening minutes - the last at 12-7 following a Sinclair Russell free throw six and a half minutes into the game.
From there, the Jackrabbits began to find their groove offensively, taking charge with a 16-2 run that included SDSU scoring 13 consecutive points to build a 23-14 lead. The Jackrabbits took a double-digit lead for the first time at 27-17 on an Eide basket and carried a 35-22 lead into intermission.
SDSU gained its largest lead of the game, 19 points, six minutes into the second half on two Tara Heiser free throws, but Oakland could get no closer than the final margin of 14 points the rest of the way.
The Jackrabbits ended the game 25-of-56 from the field, 44.6 percent, including 5-of-16 from three-point range. At the line, SDSU converted 12-of-14 attempts for 85.7 percent.
The Summit League Sixth Woman of the Year, Lingle tied a career high with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field to go along with game highs of nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Eide shared game-high honors with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, with Dietel adding 12 points.
Oakland also placed three players in double figures, led by Olivia Nash with 17. Victoria Lipscomb tallied 14 points and Russell finished with 10 points off the bench.
The Golden Grizzlies were 19-of-61 from the field, 31.1 percent, including 6-of-25 from three-point range. Oakland made 9-of-12 free throw attempts, 75 percent.
SDSU held a 43-35 rebounding advantage.
NOTES: The Jackrabbits improved to 13-0 all-time in Summit League tournament games ... SDSU ran its winning streak against Oakland to seven games and leads the all-time series, 12-3 ... the Jackrabbits have defeated Oakland three times in the Summit League Basketball Championship (2009, 2011, 2013) ... Eide tallied double figures for the 23rd time this season, while Lingle posted her ninth double-digit scoring outing of the season ... Dietel reached double figures for the fourth time this season and first time since scoring 14 against North Daktoa State on Dec. 30 ... Eide moved into 30th on the Jackrabbit career scoring chart with 1,054 points, passing Ketty Cornemann (1,042 points from 2007-10) ... SDSU set a team season high with seven blocked shots ... the Jackrabbits are 16-1 this season when leading at the half and 17-2 when out-rebounding the opposition ... SDSU finished with 17 turnovers, compared to 14 by Oakland