SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (UND Athletics) -- South Dakota State led wire-to-wire in the Summit League Tournament Quarterfinal on Saturday night in Sioux Falls, S.D., as the University of North Dakota fell to the Jackrabbits at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, 72-43.
UND's top-three scorers were freshmen as the class combined for 31 of the Hawks 43 points. Olivia Lane finished 5-of-7 from the field and 2-of-2 at the free-throw line to lead North Dakota with 12 points while Megan Zander scored seven, and Lilly Keplin hit three triples to end the game with nine points.
The PREMIER Center lights shined bright over the faces of the Fighting Hawks as South Dakota State opened the game 4-for-6 from the field while the Hawks missed its first six. Lane broke the scoreless duct with her makes at the charity stripe, setting the table for a pair of threes by Kacie Borowicz and Melissa Leet after the media break.
While the offense took time to warm up, the defense only allowed the Jacks to hit three of their next 14 shots (.214) in the final four and half minutes of the first quarter. That defense reemerged at the end of the second quarter as it recorded six defensive stops on the Jackrabbits final eight possessions of the half, paving the way for 10-3 UND run to end the first half.
North Dakota closed the gap to 12 points heading into the locker room, 30-18, with a collective scoring effort. Keplin led the Fighting Hawks at halftime with six points during UND's final run. Both Leet and Julia Fleecs blocked two shots en route to six first-half blocks.
The Fighting Hawk defense continued to lead the way as it limited the Jacks to 20 points and a 36.4-percent field goal percentage in the third period. However, the UND offense could not hang on to the ball and failed to put the ball in the basket, recording eight turnovers and eight points in the quarter.
The duo of Lane and Zander carried the University of North Dakota in the final 10 minutes in the post as the freshmen accounted for 13 points with Zander pacing the way with seven. The Fighting Hawks posted their best scoring of the game in the quarter, but SDSU did as well, going 11-for-18 from the field with 14 points in the paint.
"We got caught up in the lights a little bit, and that environment," said Head Coach Travis Brewster. "Didn't adjust particularly well to what South Dakota State was doing. We worked on those differences, but at the same time, we didn't have enough scoring opportunities, but these are correctable things."
Jaclyn Jarnot nearly completed her fourth double-double of the season with seven points and nine boards, adding two points and two assists as well.
North Dakota fell to 15-15 on the season, while South Dakota State improved to 22-9 overall. Jackrabbit forward Tagyn Larson led all scarred with 18 points while Paiton Burckhard scored 14.