Mavs don't 'show up' vs. Summit co-leader

South Dakota State is widely considered one of the best mid-major teams in the country.

The Jackrabbits are good enough that they can bury a team quickly if it isn't up to the challenge.

UNO (11-11, 4-6 Summit League) was reminded of that Wednesday at Baxter Arena, when the conference co-leaders (18-4, 8-1) jumped in front early and weren't pushed much in their 65-47 win.

South Dakota State had a 20-point advantage before four minutes had gone by in the second quarter. The Mavericks got outrebounded by 11 and turned the ball over on 11 occasions in the first 13 minutes.

UNO coach Brittany Lange, whose team faces the Jackrabbits and fellow Summit leader South Dakota this week to open its three game homestand, needed few words to explain Wednesday's outcome.

"It's pretty simple: We just did not show up," she said. "The effort wasn't there. I don't think it has to do with confidence. It had to do with inexperience in a sense that this team has to understand how hard you have to play every day. There's a reason why South Dakota and South Dakota State are as good as what they are. They have that culture to really compete every single day. We just didn't do that today."

The Mavs had 17 turnovers by halftime and trailed by as many as 24 points before the break. South Dakota State recorded consecutive second-chance baskets to open the scoring and led the entire night.

The Jackrabbits had 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, which led to 13 second-chance points, while UNO had 12 total boards, all on the defensive end. South Dakota State scored 19 points off turnovers.

Those point totals grew to 24 off turnovers and 18 on second chances by night's end. And South Dakota State cruised to its 18th victory of the season even though it had no player score more than 11 points in its runaway win. Macy Miller and Alexis Alexander each finished with 11. Five others had six or more.

Mikaela Shaw paced the Mavs with 15 but was just 4 of 15 from the field. Abi Lujan nearly recorded a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Carol Hogue had seven points and five blocked shots.

"They outworked us completely," Lujan said. "I feel like nobody was in the right mind state to go and attack them. We let them attack us, and that's what got us behind. It's tough going after them. But if you're ready and have heart, it makes it better. ... I just don't think we were ready, mentally, at all."

UNO outscored the Jackrabbits in the second half, but it didn't make up much ground. Both teams struggled through a brutal third quarter that featured 14 total points, 13 combined turnovers and 5-for-27 shooting from the floor. The Mavs, who had 26 turnovers, were never closer than 18 after the break.

"The turnovers were something I hadn't seen from our group yet in that capacity," Lange said. "That was just not being composed. I didn't feel like we had guards that wanted the basketball."

Contact the writer: 402-444-1027, tony.boone@owh.com twitter.com/BooneOWH

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