BROOKINGS, S.D. - Hot shooting by the defending Summit League champion South Dakota State handed the Western Illinois women's basketball team an 86-51 defeat on Thursday (Jan. 17) night. The Leathernecks are now 9-8 overall and 2-3 in league play, while the Jackrabbits are 14-5 overall and a perfect 6-0 in conference play.
Western shot 29.2 percent (19-for-65) from the floor, 22.2 percent (6-for-27) beyond the arc and 58.2 (7-for-12) percent from the free throw line, while South Dakota State was 50.8 percent (32-for-63) from the field, 40.9 percent (9-for-22) from long range and 61.9 percent (13-for-21) from the line.
After hanging with the Jackrabbits in the opening minutes of play, SDSU used a 7-0 run to take control of the game and never let up taking a 19-point lead into the break.
The Fighting Leathernecks returned to the court and held a scoring edge in the first four minutes of the second half. Ashley Luke recorded seven points with a jumper, a three-point play, and a layup. Jackie Rieger followed with a jumper of her own.
The Jackrabbits responded by knocking down four 3-pointers to pull away for good.
Leading the Leathernecks in scoring was Luke with 13 points, the sixth time in the last eight contests she scored in double-figures. Also reaching double figures with 10 points, which matches her season-high for the third time, was Rebecca Henricson. Ashley Eide led the Jackrabbits with 16 points and three others reached double figures.
The Western Illinois bench contributed nearly half of the team's points in the contest, led by Rieger who netted nine. Charnelle Reed recorded a six point performance, while Christina Jones and Karis Phillips posted five points in their eight and 12 minutes played, respectively.
Saule Kontautaite and Luke each pulled down six rebounds in the contest to pace Western, while Henricson dished out a team-high three assists.
Western Illinois travels to Fargo, N.D. this Saturday (Jan. 19) to face the Bison of North Dakota State before returning to Western Hall for home contests against South Dakota on Jan. 24 and Kansas City on Jan. 26.