Women’s basketball preps for game against South Dakota State Wednesday

By Jacob Onak

NIU women’s basketball will look to continue its strong play against a solid South Dakota State basketball team Wednesday in DeKalb.

The Jackrabbit’s (2-2) are coming off a big 60-55 win against 15th ranked Nebraska Sunday and will try to take away the Huskies (2-1) momentum.

Coach Kathi Bennett said South Dakota State will be a tough team to break down.

“Yeah, South Dakota’s a really good team,” Bennett said. “They just knocked off Nebraska whose ranked 15th and they are just really well disciplined. [They have] one of the best coaches in the country, Aaron Johnston, [who could] probably could coach anywhere. They are really disciplined and they really spread you out. They have a really good post player and they all could shoot it, so it’s definitely going to be a test.”

South Dakota State coach Johnston has been at the helm of the Jackrabbit program for 12 years and has a record of 292-101, creating a very tough basketball program.

The Huskies had a good weekend offensively against Davidson scoring 64 points and Morehead State where they scored 76 points. Red shirt sophomore forward Jenna Thorp said NIU needs to continue with the ball movement they had over the weekend.

“[Offensively we need to] spread the floor, move the ball well, get open looks,” Thorp said. “We were big on getting more assists than turnovers so we are still working on that and then just playing together on the in and outside game.”

South Dakota State is led by senior guard/forward Ashley Eide. In the win against Nebraska, Eide shot 10 of 17 for 26 points, and was five of six from the free throw line. This season she is seven for 15 from the 3-point line and has nine total steals.

Thorp said the team is working a lot on defending screen’s to prepare for the game against the Jackrabbits.

“We are basically just focused on playing our defense, not letting them get us out of our style of play,” Thorp said. “And then we are working on how to guard their flair screens, getting over the top of that, being able to help.”

Bennett said despite the Jackrabbit’s coming off of a big win against Nebraska, this game couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This past weekend for us was good,” Bennett said. “It gave us great confidence coming in and a lot of energy, so the timing of this game is perfect to be able to test ourselves against a really good team.”