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Ionescu’s Court: Can the Jackrabbits beat the Ducks?

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We meet again, South Dakota State...

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

At 12 PM PT, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits will attempt to defeat the rebounding #3 Oregon Ducks at Matt Knight Arena on the PAC-12 Network. Ionescu and Crew are hoping to get things back on quack after a loss to the #2 Louisville Cardinals, who in turn lost to Ohio State, while the Jackrabbits are sick and tired of losing to the Ducks and believe this season is Wabbit Season!

SEASON THUS FAR

RECORD: 6-3, 0-0

BEST WINS: South Florida, Notre Dame

WORST LOSSES: Drake. Creighton, Florida Gulf Coast

COMMON OPPONENTS: N/A

LAST 5 GAMES:

  • W (11/23) Wyoming, 67-40
  • W (11/28) Cancun Challenge, #21 South Florida, 61-50
  • W (11/29) Cancun Challenge, Notre Dame, 65-59
  • L (11/30) Cancun Challenge, Florida Gulf Coast, 70-71
  • W (12/5) Coppin State, 94-41

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Women’s Championship - Third Round - South Dakota State v Oregon Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

STAT COMPARISON

  • JACKRABBITS score 67.7 PPG
  • DUCKS allow 60.6
  • JACKRABBITS shoot .442% from the floor
  • DUCKS allow .376%
  • JACKRABBITS shoot .297% from three
  • DUCKS allow .252%
  • JACKRABBITS average 40.1 rebounds
  • DUCKS allow 32.3
  • JACKRABBITS allow 54.7 PPG
  • DUCKS score 88.6
  • JACKRABBITS allow .362% from the floor
  • DUCKS shoot .476%
  • JACKRABBITS allow .257% from three
  • DUCKS shoot .327%
  • JACKRABBITS allow 31.1 rebounds
  • DUCKS average 44.6
  • JACKRABBITS average 15.6 assists/ 15.2 turnovers

SEASON RECAP

Paiton Burckhard and Myah Selland scored a combined 35 points in South Dakota State’s season opener against Drake, but their effort wasn’t enough and the Jackrabbit’s fell on the road to the Bulldogs, 75-94. Their road trip woes continued when they traveled to Omaha and lost to Creighton. The Bluejays were down 29-15 at the half, but held the Jackrabbits to just 19 second half points for the 61-to-48 victory.

Burckhard scored a career-best 23 points against Dakota Wesleyan and the team finally earned their first win of the season. Six days later, South Dakota State played at home for the first time and defeated Montana State, 60 to 50. The Bobcats entered Frost Arena a perfect 3-0, but some strong defense and three-point shooting by the Jackrabbits made it a happy home coming. A 27-point win over Wyoming kept the momentum going for the team as they entered the Cancun Challenge.

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits upset the No. 20 ranked South Florida Bulls, 61-50. The Baylor Lady Bears were the only team to defeat USF before the Cancun Challenge, where a trio of double-digit scorers led by Myah Selland took them down on Thanksgiving day. The Jackrabbits followed up their upset with a win over once-mighty Notre Dame, thanks to a career-best double-double by Tori Nelson.

The victory was the 1,000th program win, but the five-game win-streak ended for the Jackrabbits when they lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, 70 to 71. South Dakota State finished the Cancun Challenge 2-1.

The Jackrabbits rebounded with a win over a different group of Eagles, the Coppin State Eagles, by a score of 94 to 41. After failing to beat Oregon in two different matchups last season, including in the Sweet Sixteen where the Ducks ended the Jackrabbits’ Tournament run, South Dakota State is hoping to exact some revenge when they visit Autzen today.

JACKRABBIT STARTERS

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

#33 Paiton Burckhard

6’0, Forward, Sophomore

(9 GP - 24.3 MPG - .595 FG% - .000 3PT% - .853 FT%- 14.3 PPG - 5.3 REB)

The sophomore saw action in all 35 games last year and was named to the Summit League All-Newcomer Team. She led the team in field goal percentage, shoot at .596 as a freshman. She’s already had a couple big games this season and the Jackrabbits will rely on her to keep up with the high-scoring Ducks.


NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

#44 Myah Selland

6’1, Forward, Junior

(9 GP - 25.6 MPG - .558 FG% - .211 3PT% - .706 FT% - 13.8 PPG - 5.0 REB)

Selland started in all 33 games that she played in last season and reached double-digits in scoring in 25 of those starts. She helps South Dakota State earn extra touches with steals and blocks and also moves the ball around well for the assist. She was a crucial component in taking down USF and is one of the best scorers on this team.


NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

#21 Tylee Irwin

6’0, Guard, Junior

(9 GP - 26.3 MPG - .324 FG% - .100 3PT% - .667 FT% - 6.7 PPG - 5.7 REB)

The junior guard earned a starting spot last year and hasn’t looked back, scoring nine double-digit games last year and making a difference in both the Summit League tournament games and the Big Dance.


NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Women’s Championship - Third Round - South Dakota State v Oregon Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#2 Rylie Cascio Jensen

5’10, Guard, Senior

(9 GP - 30.9 MPG - .372 FG% - .355 3PT% - .500 FT% - 5.3 PPG - 3.2 REB)

A solid player coming off the bench last year, Cascio Jensen is a senior looking to make a big splash her senior year. The departure of South Dakota State great Madison Guebert leaves a big hole in this roster, Cascio Jensen hopes to fill this void.


#20 Tori Nelson

6’1, Forward, Freshman

(9 GP - 23.4 MPG - .536 FG% - .444 3PT% - .524 FT% - 9.2 PPG - 4.0 REB)

Nelson was a superstar at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota where she built career records for points, rebounds, blocked shots and steals; now, she’ll get a real opportunity to test her merit against some superstar collegiate players. Maybe she can beat her career-high of 15 when she helped her team beat Notre Dame.


NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Women’s Championship - Third Round - South Dakota State v Oregon Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

PANIC LEVEL

9 out of 19 Triple-Doubles

Just like last season, the Ducks are facing the Jackrabbits right after suffering an upset loss to a non-conference opponent on the road. And just like last season, the Ducks will earn the victory that hopefully rights the ship, because this time they’ll have the Matt Knight faithful reminding them who they are - Champions.

SCORE PREDICTION

DUCKS 87 - JACKRABBITS 62