SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- No. 2 seed South Dakota State women's basketball defeated seventh-seeded North Dakota 72-43 Saturday afternoon to advance to Monday's semifinals.
The Jackrabbits improved to 22-9 on the season, while North Dakota fell to 15-15.
"Well good first win for us. I mean I think everyone watched the same game," said head coach Aaron Johnston. "Our defense was excellent. We rebounded really well, we forced turnovers and that kind of took them out of some rhythm and made their shots really difficult, so our defense was phenomenal."
Tagyn Larson led the scoring efforts with 18 points and tied for the team lead with eight rebounds. Paiton Burckhard added 14 points and five rebounds. Megan Bultsma grabbed eight boards and scored nine points, while Tylee Irwin scored eight and hauled in seven rebounds.
State outrebounded the UND 48-38 and held the Fighting Hawks to just 28.6 percent from the field. Additionally, SDSU held a 48-20 advantage in the paint.
The Jackrabbits led for the entirety of the contest, opening the game with a 13-2 run behind eight points from Burckhard. That margin held through the end of the first quarter with SDSU leading, 19-8.
State used 12 unanswered points to extend the lead to 27-8, holding UND scoreless through the first 5:49 of the second quarter. The Fighting Hawks climbed back with a 10-3 run as SDSU went to the locker room holding a 30-18 lead.
A Burckhard layup capped a 9-0 spurt out of the break, giving the Jacks their first 20-point lead of the game (39-18). Larson scored nine in the third quarter and SDSU took a 50-26 advantage into the final quarter.
A Jordan Ferrand layup pushed the Jackrabbits to a 30-point, 64-34, lead with 3:15 left to play. The two teams traded points the rest of the way as SDSU earned the 72-43 victory.
"Offensively, we just had a hard time getting the ball into the net. Sometimes that happens but I still thought we were taking good shots in the post, getting things we wanted. Just really couldn't break away offensively the way we had hoped but I still feel really good about the win. I thought our team played well, we played really hard and gives us a chance to play again and that's the goal."
The Jackrabbits move on to face the winner of No. 3 seed Denver and sixth-seeded North Dakota State in the semifinals Monday. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. from the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
-RECAP COURTESY SDSU ATHLETICS