South Dakota State made amends for last season and did something for only the third time in school history all at once on Saturday.
Senior guard Macy Miller had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 6-seed South Dakota State to a 76-65 win over No. 11-seed Quinnipiac in a first-round NCAA Tournament game in the Portland Region played in Syracuse, N.Y.
South Dakota State (27-6), which lost in overtime to Villanova in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, picked up its third NCAA Tournament win in school history.
Trailing by 11 points at halftime and 58-49 in the last minute of the third quarter, Quinnipiac (26-7) started to rally, cutting the South Dakota State lead to 58-53 a minute into the fourth quarter.
South Dakota State reclaimed a nine-point lead at 62-53 with 6:33 left, but Quinnipiac had another response, closing within three points at 64-61 with 3:09 left.
But Miller’s 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining and less than five seconds remaining on the shot clock to give the Jackrabbits a 69-61 lead and proved to be the crushing blow.
A three-point play by Paige Warfel pulled Quinnipiac back within five at 69-64 with 1:20 left, but Miller hit a pair of free throws with 46 seconds left and two more free throws with 31 seconds remaining to give South Dakota State a 73-64 lead and seal the win.
Miller went 4 of 5 from 3-point range and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Sophomore forward Myah Selland had 16 points and nine rebounds for South Dakota State. Senior forward Jen Fay had 25 points and nine rebounds in defeat for Quinnipiac (26-7), which was making its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
South Dakota State held a 22-18 lead after the first quarter, then used a 12-2 second-quarter run to take a 39-25 lead with 3:06 remaining in the first half.
The Jackrabbits ultimately took a 41-30 into halftime.
—Field Level Media