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Jackrabbit’s women named favorites to win Summit League in pre-season basketball poll

The South Dakota State women’s basketball team was picked to take home the Summit League women’s basketball regular season title in the conference’s preseason poll released Tuesday. The voting panel included the league’s ten head coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

The Jackrabbits, who finished the 2022-23 League season with an 18-0 record, going unbeaten for the second time in three years, sat atop the poll after totaling 577 points and receiving 27 of the 36 first-place votes.

North Dakota State held the second spot in the preseason rankings after the Bison garnered five first-place votes and 526 total points. The South Dakota Coyotes rounded out the top three in the poll with 485 total points and two first-place votes.

Paige Meyer and Tori Nelson represent the Jackrabbits on the preseason all-Summit League teams. Meyer was selected to the first team for the second straight season while Nelson was named to the second team.

Meyer, a two-time Summit League second team honoree, averaged 10.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per contest as a sophomore last season. She shot 54.5 percent from the floor and 48.8 percent from the beyond the arc, both of which were team bests. Meyer’s 2.0 assist/turnover ratio ranked second in the Summit League last year.

Nelson has started every game for SDSU over the last two seasons and has accumulated the most minutes played of any Jackrabbit in that stretch. She scored 7.9 points and grabbed 3.4 rebounds per contest in 2022-23 and blocked 33 total shots, the second highest mark on the team. She surpassed the 1,000-point milestone last season, becoming the 41st player in program history reach the mark.

North Dakota’s Kacie Borowicz was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year. Joining Meyer and Borowicz on the Preseason All-Summit League first team were Oral Roberts’ Hannah Cooper, North Dakota State’s Elle Evans and Heaven Hamling and South Dakota’s Grace Larkins.

In addition to Nelson, the Preseason All-Summit League second team includes USD’s Carley Duffney, Denver’s Makayla Minett and Emma Smith and ORU’s Ruthie Udoumoh.

Points for the preseason poll were compiled on a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, while all-league teams were compiled on an 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. The top six vote-getters earned first-team honors and the next five were selected to the second team. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes or team.

2023-24 Preseason Summit League Player of the Year
Kacie Borowicz, North Dakota

2023-24 Preseason All-Summit League First Team
Kacie Borowicz, North Dakota, Gr., G (19.4 ppg/4.0 rpg/4.8 apg/82.4 FT%)*
Hannah Cooper, Oral Roberts, Gr., G (20.4 ppg/4.6 rpg/3.9 apg/2.5 spg)
Elle Evans, North Dakota State, So., G (13.8 ppg/4.7 rpg/83.7 FT%)
Heaven Hamling, North Dakota State, Sr., G (17.2 ppg/ 5.1 rpg/ 3.9 apg)
Grace Larkins, South Dakota, Jr., G (18.3 ppg/8.7 rpg/4.9 apg/2.1 spg)
Paige Meyer, South Dakota State, Jr., G (9.6 ppg/3.2 apg/2.4 rpg/54.5 FG%)

2023-24 Preseason All-Summit League Second Team
Carley Duffney, South Dakota, So., F (12.2 ppg/4.2 rpg/88.5 FT%)
Makayla Minett, Denver, Gr., F (8.1 ppg/8.8 rpg/2.9 bpg)
Tori Nelson, South Dakota State, Sr., F (7.8 ppg/3.1 rpg/2.2 apg)
Emma Smith, Denver, So., G (13.4 ppg/4.8 rpg/2.9 apg/80.7 FT%)
Ruthie Udoumoh, Oral Roberts, Gr., G (11.8 ppg/7.5 rpg/2.5 apg/2.0 spg)

stats from 2022-23 Summit League games

*Preseason player of the year automatically earns a spot on the first team

2023-24 Summit League Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

RankSchoolPoints (1st)2022-23 Record (SL)
1.South Dakota State577 (27)29-6 (18-0)
2.North Dakota State526 (5)18-12 (12-6)
3.South Dakota485 (2)14-16 (10-8)
4.North Dakota43419-13 (11-7)
5.Oral Roberts357 (1)12-19 (8-10)
6.Omaha26315-17 (8-10)
7.Denver233 (1)12-18 (8-10)
8.St. Thomas20313-17 (7-11)
9.Kansas City1749-23 (3-15)