Clarin, Jackrabbits reach WNIT semis but fall to UTEP 66-63

South Dakota State junior Mariah Clarin of Princeton. More Minnesotans on the Jackrabbits squad include Megan Waytashek of Centennial H.S. and Hannah Strop of New Prague.  Photo courtesy of South Dakota State

South Dakota State junior Mariah Clarin of Princeton. More Minnesotans on the Jackrabbits squad include Megan Waytashek of Centennial H.S. and Hannah Strop of New Prague. Photo courtesy of South Dakota State

Princeton grad Mariah Clarin and the South Dakota State women’s basketball team reached the women’s NIT tourney final four after winning their first four games in the tournament. In the April 2 semifinals, the Jackrabbits (26-10) led 30-26 at the half, but host University of Texas-El Paso held on for a 66-63 victory.

UTEP will host Rutgers in Saturday’s WNIT finals (3 p.m.) Rutgers defeated South Florida 62-52 in the other April 2 semifinals.

Against UTEP, Clarin led the Jackrabbits with 10 rebounds to go with 7 points.

Clarin posted the double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds in the Jackrabbits’ 78-61 tourney-opening victory over Butler. She scored 9 points with 5 rebounds in the 62-51 win over Creighton.

Next, the Jackrabbits bounded past the U of M Gophers 70-62 when Clarin scored 4 points to go with 3 rebounds. She then scored 15 points and led the team with 7 rebounds in Sunday’s 76-64 victory over Indiana in the quarterfinals

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