Jackrabbit Basketball Teams Win Friday Twin Bill With Kansas City

Women clinch Summit Regular Season Title with 73-53 win, men pull away for 67-49 victory
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 11:24 PM CST
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No. 22/24 South Dakota State women’s basketball won its 20th game of the season in a 73-53 route Kansas City Friday night at Frost Arena. With the win, the Jackrabbits secured the outright Summit League Regular Season Title.

The Jacks, now 20-2 overall and 13-0 in Summit League play, shot 45.8 percent from the field and went 25-of-36 at the free throw line. State outrebounded Kansas City 35-30 and forced nine steals.

Leading the Jacks was Paiton Burckhard and Tylee Irwin, who each scored 19 points and combined for eight rebounds. Mesa Byom scored nine points in seven minutes played as Lindsey TheuninckHaley Greer and Madysen Vlastuin each scored six points. Theuninck and Vlastuin each added four rebounds while Greer recorded three boards and four assists. Kallie Theisen scored three points, recorded eight rebounds and two assists. Regan Nesheim added four rebounds.

“Good win for us,” head coach Aaron Johnston. “It was a tough week, squared away with everything our players are dealing with and coming off an emotional weekend in Fargo. I really wondered what we had in the tank and I thought we played very well. I think Kansas City is a very good team. Offensively they can really score and they can do it in a variety of ways, from the perimeter and also inside, so I thought we did a nice job.”

Burckhard scored the first eight Jackrabbit points to kick off a hot start from the SDSU offense. State missed just twice in the entire quarter, shooting a solid 11-for-13 from the field (84.6 percent). Kansas City was able to stay within single digits, keeping up with SDSU until a pair of Byom free throws with two minutes to play made it a 22-12 game. A pair of Jackrabbit baskets and a Kansas City layup ended the quarter with the Jacks in front 26-17.

After a Theisen layup opened the second, Kansas City went on a 7-0 run to make it a two possession game inside the seven minute mark. The Jacks responded, outscoring Kansas City 13-6 over the next six minutes to take a 41-33 lead with 1:27 remaining in the half. A Kansas City 3-pointer and a Burckhard layup in the final minute made it a 43-33 game at halftime.

“That first half was a track meet,” Johnston said. “That was a fast-paced basketball game. We were fortunate to make shots the way we did. That tempo was probably quicker than we want to play so we’ll have to do a better job of managing that I think.”

SDSU grew its lead to 17 (50-33) four minutes into the third quarter thanks to a 7-0 run. State did not make a field goal in the final six minutes of the quarter, but six free throws maintained a double digit lead. The Roos ended the quarter with two free throws and a layup to cut the Jackrabbit lead to 56-45 at the end of the third.

Five SDSU free throws, the first four made by Irwin, opened the final frame and stretched the Jackrabbit lead to 61-45 with 8:28 left. Burckhard scored the first field goal of the quarter to put the Jacks up 63-47 at the 7:32 mark. Four consecutive Irwin free throws extended the scoring run to six and stretched the lead to 20 (67-47) with 5:48 to play. Two Stapleton free throws made it a 20 point game and capped off a 73-53 victory. Altogether, the Jacks scored 13 of their 17 fourth quarter points at the free throw line.

“Second half was a completely different kind of game,” Johnston expressed “We just really did a good job, I think of getting to the rim and getting to the free throw line and that really changed things. It slowed the game down for both teams, which was probably playing to our favor, just with the pace part of it. We’ll have some things we can work on from this one tomorrow. How we want to handle some of their actions and getting to the 3-point line a little better. But I was just pleased with how we handled an emotional several days, getting everything together and trying to establish a plan for this team to go forward, and that part of it was really good for this group.”

Game Notes

  • South Dakota State improved to 14-1 all time vs. Kansas City
  • 25 free throw makes and 36 attempts both tie season highs
  • The Jackrabbits secured their seventh regular season title
  • With a win tomorrow, SDSU will go undefeated for the first time in program history

Up Next

South Dakota State faces Kansas City once again tomorrow for the regular season finale. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. inside Frost Arena.


South Dakota State used a dominant defense and a physical offensive attack to pull away from Kansas City 67-49 in men’s basketball action Friday night at Frost Arena.

SDSU (14-6, 8-3 Summit League) kept its regular season conference title hopes alive by shooting 63 percent and holding the visiting Roos (11-11, 7-6) to 33 percent from the field.

A back-and-forth first half saw the Jacks score 11 of the frame’s final 13 points, with reserve post Luke Appel notching eight in the final 2:48, as State carried a 31-26 lead into the locker room.

The Roos opened the second half with five straight to tie the game, but Douglas Wilson rattled off nine points amid a 14-4 run that gave the hosts control for good.

The trio of Wilson, Appel and Matt Dentlinger controlled the area surrounding the rim. Appel posted a career-high 17 points, making 6-of-9. Dentlinger added 13 points on 6-of-7 attempts, while Wilson contributed nine. Those three led an interior attack that outscored Kansas City 42-18 in the painted area.

Appel and Dentlinger joined Baylor Scheierman in double figures. Scheierman recorded his 12th double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 36 minutes.

SDSU’s defense limited Kansas City to 17-of-51 shooting and shutout the Roos for three minutes or more on four separate occasions.

The Jacks clinched a top-three seed in next week’s Summit League Tournament. A win in Saturday’s regular season finale would keep both the league championship and a No. 1 seed within reach.


  • SDSU has the best home court winning percentage in the nation over the last 10 years. The Jacks are now 126-7 (.947 percent) at Frost Arena during that span.
  • Scheierman’s 12 double-doubles are the fifth most by a Jackrabbit in the Division I era.
  • The Jacks went 2-for-8 on 3-pointers. That’s the fewest triples made by an SDSU team since Jan. 8, 2020, when State shot 2-of-9 from deep in an 80-68 win at Denver.

Up Next

SDSU closes out the regular season with game two against Kansas City Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at Frost Arena.

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