NCAA TOURNAMENT: SDSU’s spirited second half not enough to overcome Virginia Tech’s first half
Jackrabbits season ends with 72-60 loss in Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament
BLACKSBURG, VA (Dakota News Now) - Considering their opponent and the setting, South Dakota State may have played their best half of basketball of the season in the second half of Sunday’s NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Game.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome the best half of top seed and tournament host Virginia Tech who ended SDSU’s season 72-60 and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in their program’s history since 1991.
The Hokies came out on fire from beyond the arc, sinking 8-14 shots from three point range, and built a 46-23 lead over SDSU going into the locker room. Though the Jackrabbits played far better in the second half, outscoring the Hokies 37-26, it was not enough to overcome the first half deficit and extend their season.
The loss ended a 22-game win streak and puts a cap on State’s 29-6 campaign. It also marks the end of careers for Jackrabbits seniors and native South Dakotans Dru Gylten, Paiton Burckhard and Myah Selland.
In the video viewers above Sports Director Mark Ovenden has reaction from Selland, Burckhard, SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston and Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks. Please note that, due to NCAA broadcast restrictions, we are not allowed to post video from the game. For more game details you can read a recap courtesy the Jackrabbit athletic department below.
The South Dakota State women’s basketball team gave No. 1 Virginia Tech everything they had Sunday but fell 72-60 to the Hokies in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Jacks never counted themselves out of the fight. Despite a 23-point halftime deficit, SDSU outscored Tech 37-26 in the second half was within 10 points of the Hokies with three minutes to play, just couldn’t quite pull off the comeback over a top-five team playing in front of a capacity crowd on its home court.
Myah Selland tallied 17 points and nine rebounds in the finale of her six-year Jackrabbit career. She graduates as South Dakota State’s second all-time leading scorer and also ranks among the top-five in career rebounds and assists.
Sophomores Haleigh Timmer and Paige Meyer scored 12 apiece for the Jacks. Tori Nelson and Kallie Theisen, both juniors, scored nine and eight points, respectively.
The Hokies were hot from the jump, going 4-for-5 from the 3-point line in the opening five minutes to lead 14-7 at the first media break. State held VT to only five more points in the period but also struggled to score and trailed 19-7 after 10 minutes. After the Hokies pushed their lead to 20 during the second, Timmer, Meyer and Paiton Burckhard combined for six straight to pull the Jacks back within 13 before the Hokies ended the half with a 10-0 run. Tech led 46-23 at the break.
SDSU clawed their way back into it by outscoring VT 10-2 over the first half of the third period to trail 48-33. The Jacks held the home team scoreless from the floor and only allowed two free throws over the stretch. The Hokies again went up by 20 and the Jacks again cut it to 13 with another run.
Facing a 16-point hole with 10 minutes to play, the Jacks worked to make it a 10-point contest following a Selland free throw with 3:13 on the clock. Selland made two more from the line in the final moments, and Meyer added a bucket, but the upser effort fell just short.
Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore scored 21 for the Hokies, all from beyond the arc. All-American Elizabeth Kitley posted a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double.
The Jacks shot 37 percent from the floor and connected on two 3-pointers, compared to a 41 percent shooting night with 12 triples by VT.
SDSU ends the season 29-6 overall. Virginia Tech improves to 28-4 and advances to the second NCAA Sweet 16 in program history.
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