In a game that had important implications for their standing in the Summitt League, South Dakota State dominated Oral Roberts in their victory, 70-51.
Early on, this game had the makings of an epic battle between the top two teams in the Summitt League as they went back and forth. Whenever each team seemed to get a lead, the other team would immediately respond by either tying the game or taking the lead back.
With 9:20 left in the first half, it appeared that the nation’s third leading scorer Kevi Luper was on her way to one of her typical high scoring outputs when she hit a three pointer to put Oral Roberts up 17-15. Luper at that point in the game had 7 points already and looked to be just warming up.
South Dakota State responded to the early success of Oral Roberts by limiting the Golden Eagles to just 26% shooting in the first half and taking a 29-26 lead into halftime. Luper’s 9 points led all scorers going into halftime but that ended up not being a good thing for the Golden Eagles as that would be the last points of the game for their prolific scorer.
As the second half begun, South Dakota State stayed true to their mascot name, “Jackrabbits” as they quickly jumped all over the Oral Roberts. Within the first four minutes of the second half, South Dakota State had extended their halftime lead from 3 to 11. And by the 10:33 mark, their lead had grown to 14 points in part because of their defensive effort and domination on the boards. South Dakota State outrebounded Oral Roberts, 45-27 and tripled them in assists 18-6. South Dakota State shot nearly 50% for the game while holding Oral Roberts to just 32%.
Jill Young led the way for South Dakota State with a double-double, 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds while her teammate Jennie Sunnarborg had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Jami Bigham had 23 points in a losing effort for Oral Roberts while their leading scorer Kevi Luper was held to only 9 points which is 15 below her season average of 24.2 points per game. Luper was also held to just 22 % from the field. South Dakota State now has a three game lead over second place Oral Roberts.