Utah Downs SDSU in First Round

SPOKANE, Wash. – The South Dakota State women’s basketball team fell to No. 5 seed Utah in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. The Jackrabbits wrap the season 27-6 overall.

Down 20 points to the Utes early in the second quarter, SDSU stormed all the way back to within three at halftime and stayed in striking distance through the second half.

Tori Nelson, SDSU’s lone senior, led the Jackrabbits with 14 points on a 4-of-7 effort from the floor in her final game. She also had four rebounds, one block and one steal. Brooklyn Meyer added 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot. Paige Meyer put up 12 points for the Jacks and ends her junior campaign with exactly 1,000 points in her SDSU career. She also recorded eight rebounds and gave out two assists.

The Jackrabbits found themselves in a 20-point hole as the Utes led 27-7 just a few minutes into the second quarter, but SDSU put together a 17-0 run that brought them back within three at the halftime break. Nelson knocked down back-to-back treys to spark the run and added three free throws during the stretch. Brooklyn Meyer added a jumper from the floor while Paige Meyer contributed three points from the line, Madison Mathiowetz had two and Mesa Byom added one. Utah led 27-24 at halftime.

Utah stretched its lead back to 13 near the midway point of the third quarter, then the sides traded buckets through the rest of the period. A Mathiowetz 3-pointer at the 9:16 mark of the final quarter got the deficit back to single digits, 55-46, but the Jacks could not string together enough possessions to make another comeback push.

Byom led all players with 12 rebounds and two blocks. The Jacks shot 33 percent (16-for-49) from the floor and connected on 3-of-12 3-pointers. SDSU went 19-of-29 from the foul line.

Utah was led by Third-Team All-American Alissa Pili, who scored 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished three assists. Kennady McQueen tallied 17 points and six assists. The Utes were 47 percent (27-for-57) from the field and 8-of-27 from long range.


  • South Dakota State is 5-12 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Paige Meyer is the 42nd member of South Dakota State’s 1,000-point club.
  • South Dakota State had its 21-game win streak snapped. That streak ranks second all-time in program history.
  • SDSU finishes the season with at least 27 wins for the eighth time in the Aaron Johnston era.