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

One rabbit stew, coming right up!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-South Dakota State vs Ohio State Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 8:30 PM PT on ESPN2, the 6-seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits will attempt to avenge their earlier loss to the Fighting Ducks of Oregon!


RECORD: 28-6, 15-1

BEST WINS: Drake, South Dakota, Quinnipiac, @ Syracuse

WORST LOSSES: @ South Dakota, @ Wyoming

COMMON OPPONENTS: Buffalo, Syracuse


  • W (3/9) Summit League Tournament, Purdue Fort Wayne, 88-50
  • W (3/11) Summit League Tournament, Oral Roberts, 86-55
  • W (3/12) Summit League Tournament, South Dakota, 83-71
  • W (3/23) NCAA Tournament, #11 seed Quinnipiac, 76-65
  • W (3/25) NCAA Tournament, #3 seed Syracuse, 75-64

SUMMARY: After a couple of exhibition wins, the Jackrabbits started the regular season with an eye-opening loss to then-No. 19 Marquette, 91 to 52.

Dominating wins over Florida Gulf Coast, Central Michigan and Creighton seemed to put South Dakota State back on track, but Baylor and Buffalo proved too much even in the friendly confines of Brookings. It should be mentioned that both of these teams proved NCAA Tournament worthy and that the Jackrabbits finished both games trailing by just six points.

Green Bay and Chattanooga weren’t able to slow down South Dakota State’s speedy offense and a win over #21 Drake gave them their first top 25 win of the season. And just as the Jackrabbits began to heat up, the Ducks suffered their first loss of the season (an 88-82 road loss to the Michigan State Spartans) before traveling to South Dakota.

Oregon was able to pull away late in the game thanks to the stellar play of Satou Sabally and Sabrina Ionescu, ultimately defeating the Jackrabbits by a score of 87 to 79, though the game was much closer than the score would imply.

Big wins over Savannah State and Montana State were followed by a seven-point loss to the Wyoming Cowgirls. Summit play began with a 93-84 victory over Western Illinois and a 85-52 beatdown of Purdue Fort Wayne before the Jackrabbits suffered their one and only conference loss of the season, a double-overtime high-scoring affair against rival South Dakota.

Since that loss, the Jackrabbits have won 18 games in a row. The large majority of those wins have been by double-digits and include a revenge win over #23 South Dakota in an 82-78 overtime thriller. After finishing the regular season with an 100-62 victory over Western Illinois and a 23-6, 15-1 record, the Jackrabbits took care of business in the Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship, defeating Purdue Fort Wayne, Oral Roberts, and concluding with a cathartic victory over South Dakota in the Championship game.

No. 6 seed South Dakota State is coming off of a first round victory over 11-seed Quinnipiac, 76-65, and a hard-fought second round against 3-seed Syracuse in which the Jackrabbits were able to advance to their first ever Sweet Sixteen with a 75-64 win.


  • JACKRABBITS score 79.8 PPG
  • DUCKS allow 62.4
  • JACKRABBITS shoot .481% from the floor
  • DUCKS allow .397%
  • JACKRABBITS shoot .374% from three
  • DUCKS allow .306%
  • JACKRABBITS average 39.8 rebounds
  • DUCKS allow 30.0
  • JACKRABBITS allow 62.6 PPG
  • DUCKS score 86.0
  • JACKRABBITS allow .379% from the floor
  • DUCKS shoot .506%
  • JACKRABBITS allow .311% from three
  • DUCKS shoot .419%
  • JACKRABBITS allow 32.0 rebounds
  • DUCKS average 37.9
  • JACKRABBITS average 18.3 assists/ 12.9 turnovers


#12 Macy Miller

6’0, Guard, rSenior

(34 GP - 29.7 MPG - .536 FG% - .451 3PT% - .839 FT% - 18.1 PPG - 6.1 REB - 3.5 AST)

Miller is South Dakota State’s leading scorer and overall leader. She can hit the three and is averaging 18.1 points per game. She also helps out her team by playing unselfish ball, distributing crisply to her fellow talented guards. Miller has had three thirty-point games this season and played a crucial role in the Jackrabbit’s near upset of the Ducks back in December.

#11 Madison Guebert

5’8, Guard, Senior

(34 GP - 31.3 MPG - .417 FG% - .430 3PT% - .840 FT% - 14.1 PPG - 2.6 REB - 2.0 AST)

This Jackrabbits haven’t been scared against top competition, that may be in large part due to the play of senior Madison Guebert. She averages 14.1 points per game, but has scored significantly more than that average whenever playing against ranked opponents (including 21 against Oregon), so we can expect a big game from her.

#44 Myah Selland

6’2, Guard/Forward, Sophomore

(32 GP - 25.7 MPG - .512 FG% - .329 3PT% - .776 FT% - 12.5 PPG - 5.4 REB - 3.3 AST)

Selland has come alive in the Big Dance, scoring 16 points against Quinnipiac and 17 against Syracuse. She also had a combined 17 rebounds in her last couple of games. Her non-stop hustle has elevated her team and set a good standard for pushing the pace.

#24 Tagyn Larson

6’2, Forward, rJunior

(34 GP - 24.9 MPG - .556 FG% - .432 3PT% - .787 FT% - 10.7 PPG - 6.4 REB - 1.8 AST)

Larson has the unfortunate job of covering Ruthy Hebard. There will surely be moments were Larson and Selland or another Jackrabbit combine efforts to take on the sensational forward, but if the Jackrabbits want to slow down the Ducks they’ll need to find a way to deal with Hebard - Larson may be at least part of the solution.

#21 Tylee Irwin

6’0, Forward, Sophomore

(34 GP - 22.6 MPG - .432 FG% - .292 3PT% - .611 FT% - 7.6 PPG - 3.6 REB - 1.7 AST)

Irwin scored just six points in her 28 minutes against the Ducks, but the sophomore also tallied four rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal. She’ll look to make a difference in this game, as well.


13 out of 18 Triple-Doubles

The more research I’ve done on the Jackrabbits the higher the Panic Level has risen. They have four elite scorers and have already played the Ducks close, though that was at their home court. South Dakota State is a lot like the Duck team of 2016-17, the team that made a surprise Elite Eight run, however, I believe this Oregon squad is focused, relatively healthy, extremely talented and not ready to make the short trip home.



Hopefully we handle the Jackrabbits better than these guys did...