The South Dakota State women used their home court superiority to win their Summit League opener.
Senior Tara Heiser (Watertown) scored a team-high 11 points off the bench as the South Dakota State women’s basketball team (10-7, 1-0) defeated IUPUI (10-6, 0-1), 63-57, Thursday night in front of 1,613 fans in Frost Arena.
The win extends the Jackrabbits’ home-winning streak to 11 games dating to last season.
Senior Hannah Strop (New Prague, Minn.) had a game-high eight rebounds for the Jacks while senior Steph Paluch (Pierre) dished a game-high four assists and added six caroms.
DeAirra Goss’ 21 points led IUPUI. Akilah Sims added 12 points.
SDSU opened the second half leading by nine, 32-23, but IUPUI battled to take a 42-40 lead after a 12-0 run. The Jaguars’ Goss scored seven points during the run that ended on SDSU junior Gabby Boever’s (Worthington, Minn.) layup with 8:05 left.
After a layup by Sims at the 7:55 mark gave IUPUI a 44-42 lead, the Jackrabbits went on a 10-2 run over a 3:37 span to take a 52-46 lead.
IUPUI got as close as three points twice, the last at 58-55, with 1:08 remaining, but Paluch sank five of six free throws in the final 35 seconds for the win.
South Dakota State took a first half lead when Heiser scored six of the Jacks’ eight points on an 8-0 run for a 17-12 lead with 11:46 left. The Jackrabbit defense then took over, holding IUPUI to just six points on six free throws over an 11:26 span before Mikale Rogers made a layup with 1:39 left in the half.
South Dakota State returns to action Saturday in Summit League play, facing Fort Wayne at 4 p.m. in Frost Arena.