South Dakota State found themselves trailing the Miami Hurricanes 37-39 at the half of Saturday’s first-round NCAA Tournament match up. But a third quarter surge was just enough for the 12th-seeded Jackrabbits to upset No. 5 Miami.
South Dakota State came into the contest 1-2 vs. top 25 teams, defeating DePaul at home in December and falling to Notre Dame by 11 and to Maryland by 7, both in November.
The Jackrabbits had made seven Tournament appearances going into the Miami game, and had never advanced past the first round.
Freshman Madison Guebert was key in the upset. She finished with 19 points, which included five three-pointers. Summit League MVP Macey Miller added 18 points but committed 11 of the team’s 22 turnovers in the contest. Ellie Thompson contributed 14 points.
The Jacks as a team struggled with the Hurricane’s pressure, but were able to knock down eight threes and make 16 of 27 free throws.
Miami, which shot 37 percent from the floor and made just 6 of 21 attempts from three, were led in scoring by Adrienne Motley’s 19 points, while Laura Cornelius added 18 points and Emese Hof, 17 to go along with 9 rebounds. Cornelius was given a technically in the fourth quarter after hitting a big shot and expressing emotion; the shot was overturned from a three to a two and drew the Hurricanes within 6 with 6:03 remaining.
The Jackrabbits will have to play exceptionally well in Monday’s second round match up with Stanford, and take care much better care of the basketball if they want to upset their host.