OMAHA, Neb. – Elena Pilakouta garnered her fifth career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in Omaha’s 64-54 loss vs. South Dakota State on Saturday afternoon at Baxter Arena.
The Mavericks move to 1-8 (0-4 Summit League) on the season while the Jackrabbits improve to 11-2 (4-0 Summit League).
Leaders for Omaha
Pilakouta’s double-double performance led the Mavericks in both scoring and rebounding. The junior had 13 points and six boards in the first half while shooting 6-of-11. Ella Ogier followed in the scoring column with nine points and chipped in two boards and a pair of steals.
Leaders for South Dakota State
Myah Selland led a trio of Jackrabbits in double-figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. Tori Nelson and Paiton Burckhard scored 12 points apiece.
Madysen Vlastuin totaled nine points while shooting 3-of-5 from three point range.
Omaha shot 37.5% (18-of-48) to South Dakota State’s 43.8% (21-of-48). SDSU clipped the Mavericks in rebounding with a slim 31-29 advantage while Omaha outscored SDSU in the paint, 30-20.
The Jackrabbits led for 21:39 of the game and shot 7-of-22 from three-point range, compared to Omaha’s 1-of-12 clip from long distance. The game featured seven ties and seven lead changes.
Inside the First Quarter
Omaha and SDSU began the game trading buckets early as the Jackrabbits held an 11-10 lead after four minutes of play. The Mavericks responded with layups by Pilakouta and Murdie before Kia Wilson converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give Omaha the 17-13 edge after the first 10 minutes.
Omaha shot 7-of-16 in the opening quarter and outrebounded the Jackrabbits, 11-8. Pilakouta led the Maverick offense early with seven points, followed by Ogier’s five points. Tylee Irwin had five early points to lead SDSU.
Inside the Second Quarter
The Mavericks and Jackrabbits stayed within one possession of each other, as Omaha’s biggest lead was only three on a free throw by Schmitt. SDSU led by as many as four points before back-to-back scores by Murdie and Killian tied the game at 30 at the half.
SDSU shot 6-of-10 from the floor with three treys while outscoring the Mavericks, 17-13. Pilakouta paced the Omaha offense with six points. The Maverick defense totaled five steals and forced the Jackrabbits into seven turnovers.
Inside the Third Quarter
South Dakota State capitalized on cold shooting from the Mavericks to stretch the lead to eight after three quarters. Omaha was limited to 1-of-8 shooting from the field while getting eight points from the free throw line after shooting 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Killian went a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line and Schmitt went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe to lead the Mavericks. SDSU shot 58.3 percent from the floor, including 66.7 percent from beyond the arc to expand the lead in the second half.
Inside the Fourth Quarter
Ogier and Pilakouta brought the Mavericks to within four with 1:30 left in the game. Ogier hit a pair of free throws and Pilakouta’s layup and free throw made it a 56-52 ballgame. The Jackrabbits responded with a three-pointer and a defensive stop to expand the lead to 59-52.
South Dakota State went 5-of-6 down the stretch at the free throw line to clinch the 10-point victory. The Mavericks held SDSU to 2-of-10 shooting and outscored the Jackrabbits 8-0 in the paint, but couldn’t get closer than four points in the final quarter.
The Mavericks are off next weekend and return to play with a weekend doubleheader on the road at South Dakota on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30.