Women’s basketball drops opening round game of the Summit League Tournament to South Dakota State 67-53

By Postie Editors

The women’s basketball team lost to the South Dakota Jackrabbits (23-7) in the first round of the Summit League Tournament March 9.

The loss officially ends the season for the Golden Grizzly ladies. After a hot start to the season with wins over George Mason, America, Canisius and then on the road at Niagara, they could not keep the momentum into Summit League play.

The Jackrabbits used their experience to bring their level of play back to the same level of that in the regular season.

SDSU was led by seniors Ashley Eide and Katie Lingle, who were responsible for 36 of the 67 points for the Jackrabbits.

When Eide and Lingle took a break, senior forward Leah Dietel took charge and tallied 12 points. South Dakota State shot 44.6 percent from the field. SDSU will take on the winner of IUPUI and UMKC Monday afternoon inside the Sioux Falls Arena.

For Oakland (9-20), the ladies got off to a great start and forced seven Jackrabbit turnovers early in the game. But they were not able to capitalize on the miscues of the No. 1 seeded Jackrabbits.

SDSU turned the ball over 17 times, but Oakland was only able to put 14 points on the board.

Freshman forward Olivia Nash, in her first Division I tournament game, led the Summit League in rebounds this season by averaging 8.1 boards per game. On Saturday, she led the Golden Grizzlies in scoring with 17 points and six rebounds.

Nash scored the first seven points for the Golden Grizzlies and at the beginning of the game it looked as if Oakland was going to give South Dakota State a run for their money. The Jackrabbits were able to adjust, taking away the Grizzlies shot at an upset.

Junior forward Victoria Lipscomb scored 14 points for the Golden Grizzlies, and played the longest of any player between the two teams with her usual 37 minutes.

Freshman forward Sinclair Russell added 10 points and grabbed three rebounds.

Oakland shot 31 percent from the field, and only 6-25 from behind the three point line.

Oakland was also outscored in the paint 38-16, and Lingle was responsible for 18 of those 38 points. When Oakland could work the rock down low, the quick hands of Mariah Clarin would swat the ball away from any Golden Grizzly shooter.

The Golden Grizzlies were plagued all season long with injuries and played the entire season without senior center Bethany Watterworth, then lost junior guard Zakiya Minifee for the season with a month left to play with another knee injury.

South Dakota State will move on to the second round of the Summit League tournament were they look to capture their fifth consecutive Summit League Tournament title. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies will look to improve over the summer on the experience the freshmen gained this season.

Don Tottingham is a radio DJ for WXOU Radio 88.3FM. Email him at [email protected]