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January 8, 2014


BROOKINGS, S.D. - The top two teams in The Summit League Preseason Poll kick off conference play against one another on Thursday, Jan. 9, when IUPUI heads to Brookings, S.D., to take on South Dakota State.


  • The Jaguars and Jackrabbits will tip at 8:00 p.m. ET at Frost Arena on Thursday.
  • Thursday's contest will be televised on Midco Sports Network/Fox College Sports.
  • Live stats will be available through


  • The Jackrabbits finished non-conference play with a 9-7 record against a difficult schedule including games against four teams either ranked or receiving votes in the most recent WBCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll.
  • SDSU is scoring 66.2 ppg led by junior guard/forward Megan Waytashek's 11.7 ppg - the team's only double-figure scorer.
  • However, South Dakota State has seven players averaging 5.0 ppg or more this season.
  • The Jackrabbits are shooting 39.7 percent from the field, including 33.6 percent from three, with Waytashek serving as their top threat from the outside with 25 made triples.
  • South Dakota State is committing 19.3 turnovers per game this season, which is the highest in the Summit League.


  • Thursday's meeting between South Dakota State and IUPUI will be the 15th meeting all-time between the two schools, with SDSU owning a 12-2 lead in the series.
  • Last season, IUPUI claimed its first ever win over the Jackrabbits with a 57-56 win at Frost Arena on Jan. 16, before winning by three at home on Feb. 14, 70-67, to earn the season sweep.
  • IUPUI is 1-6 against SDSU when playing in Brookings.


  • DeAirra Goss, Nevena Markovic and Akilah Sims all scored in double figures leading IUPUI to a 66-57 win over Youngstown State Saturday afternoon (Jan. 4) at the Beeghly Center in its final non-conference game of the season.
  • All throughout this season, the Jags bench has helped the team's scoring output providing 32.3 points per game on average, but on Saturday, Goss, Markovic and Sims carried the load offensively combining for 49 of the team's 66 points. Goss led the way with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Markovic and Sims, who made her first start since Nov. 13, both added 16 points. All three players also did their part on the boards grabbing seven apiece helping the Jags win the rebounding battle, 37-27.
  • On the other side, Heidi Schlegel had one of her most efficient games of the season hitting 11-of-16 field goals en route to a game-high 22 points. Liz Hornberger and Latisha Walker added 19 points and 10 points, respectively, for YSU, but the rest of the Penguins scored just six points on a combined 3-of-20 shooting from the floor.
  • Four different players scored in the first six minutes as the Jaguars jumped out to a 15-6 lead, including five points from Markovic and four from Sims, but over the next six minutes Youngstown State slowly trimmed its deficit to one, 22-21, following a Walker lay-up.
  • An Ashley Johnson jumper kept the Penguins deficit at one, 28-27, with 4:51 on the clock, but IUPUI clamped down on defense for the remainder of the half allowing it to increase its cushion going into the half. Down the stretch of the first half, Dawn Luster hit a pair of free throws with a little more than three minutes to play, Sims connected on lay-up with 1:59 to go, and Goss buried a jumper with two seconds left in the half to boost the Jaguars halftime lead to 34-27.
  • Out of the half, the Penguins were able to trim their halftime deficit to six by the 16:16 mark, but both teams went cold for more than four minutes until Comello buried a big three to push the IUPUI cushion to nine, 41-32.
  • By the 6:39 mark, YSU closed within a field goal at 47-45, but that's when Markovic and Goss both stepped up combining to score the Jags next 10 points during a 10-3 run to up that lead back to nine, 57-48, with a little less than four minutes to go.
  • From that point, the Jaguars advantage never dipped below seven before eventually finishing off a 66-57 triumph.
  • For the second consecutive game, the Jags managed to shoot better than 80 percent from the line by hitting 17-of-19 free throw attempts against the Penguins on Saturday. YSU on the other hand struggled hitting just 6-of-13 from the charity stripe giving IUPUI an 11-point edge at the line.


  • Through the first 13 games of the season, the Jaguars were struggling at the free throw line shooting 63.6% on the season.
  • However, the Jags reversed that trend over the past two games connecting on 85.7 percent of their free throw attempts.
  • Against IU-Southeast on Dec. 31, IUPUI outscored IU-Southeast by 21 points at the free throw line thanks to hitting 31-of-37 from the charity stripe, led by Akilah Sims' perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the line.
  • The 31 made free throws marked the most made free throws for the Jags since burying 31 against Bowling Green on Dec. 22, 2003.
  • The Jaguars then followed that with a 17-for-19 performance against Youngstown State on Dec. 4.


  • Junior forward Nevena Markovic got off to a slow start this season scoring just 25 points combined in the Jaguars first four games.
  • Since scoring 22 points in her hometown of Chicago against Chicago State on Nov. 23, Markovic has been IUPUI's leading scorer.
  • The 6-4 forward hit 9-of-14 shots against the Cougars en route to 22 points, and has followed that up by scoring in double digits in eight of IUPUI's last 10 games.
  • While averaging 13.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg during this 11-game stretch, her production has elevated over the last three games. During this three-game stretch, Markovic is averaging 16.7 ppg and 10.3 rpg, while adding 2.0 apg, 1.3 bpg and 1.0 spg.


  • Over the last five games, IUPUI has been dominant on the glass despite posting just a 3-2 record.
  • Since its Dec. 15 game against Indiana, the Jags have outrebounded their opponent by an average of 14.6 rebounds per game.
  • The Jags started this streak by outrebounding Indiana by nine, before outrebounding Northern Kentucky by 12 and Northwestern by 19. That number continued to go up against IU-Southeast as the Jaguars outrebounded the Grenadiers by 23, before posting another double-digit win on the glass against Youngstown State (37-27).
  • IUPUI is averaging 42.0 rpg during this stretch compared to just 27.64rpg for its opponents, and they have been led by Nevena Markovic's 8.0 rpg.
  • Part of the reason for the Jaguars dominance on the glass has been its ability to corral offensive rebounds. IUPUI is averaging 18.0 offensive rebounds per game since Dec. 15, resulting in 11.6 second-chance points per game.
  • Five players are averaging at least 2.0 offensive rebounds per game since the game against Indiana.


  • IUPUI is 5-2 on the road this season winning games at Valparaiso, Chicago State, Western Michigan, Indiana State and Youngstown State, while its only true road losses came at East Carolina and Northwestern.
  • Despite allowing their opponents to shoot 44.2 percent from the floor, which is more than two percent higher than what all opponents are shooting against the Jaguars this season, part of the reason for IUPUI's success on the road has been its ability to force turnovers.
  • In road games, the Jags are forcing their opponents into 20.4 turnovers per game, resulting in 20.3 ppg off turnovers
  • The Jags have three players scoring in double figures on the road in Nevena Markovic (12.9 ppg), DeAirra Goss (11.7 ppg) and Akilah Sims (10.0 ppg).

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