At the half, the Coyotes looked to have the regular season sweep in hand. But SDSU senior Macy Miller and the Jackrabbits made a fourth-quarter comeback to come out on top in overtime at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D. Sunday.
With seconds left in the fourth quarter, sophomore Chloe Lamb’s potential game-winning mid-range jumper fell off the rim and was tipped back out to her for another fade-away shot. Her second shot balanced on the rim seemingly forever before falling off, forcing overtime.
“Chloe had a great look at it (the basket), and she was money, she found a way, hit a big three for us in regulation and got to the free throw line,” USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “I thought she had a good look, and somehow she took it and got the offensive rebound in a lot of traffic and a lot of things going on and unfortunately that did not fall for us.”
Miller was nearly unstoppable on the offensive end. She shot 7-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. She also outshot the entire Coyote team at the free throw line. Miller was 12-of-15 while the Coyotes were 10-of-14. Miller finished with 28 points and eight rebounds.
The first half was dominated by a stout Coyote defense. USD forced nine turnovers and held the Jackrabbits to 2-of-10 shooting from three. Junior Ciara Duffy had 10 points and Junior Madison McKeever nine.
“I thought they just beat us to spots,” SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said. “We are used to scoring in the paint and in the lane and they just were better at defending that area than we were at getting there. The timing of our passes wasn’t good, a little late, but I think their defense caused us to be a little hesitant. They defended really well.”
“We knew going into halftime they were going to come back and try to push really hard in the third quarter,” Lamb said. “We tried to counter that the best that we could, but two really good teams went at it today.”
SDSU cut the lead to seven at the end of the third quarter. Senior Madison Guebert opened the fourth with a pair of 3-pointers in the first minute. Rylie Cascio-Jensen hit a three a minute-and-a-half later to give SDSU a two-point lead.
The teams traded baskets for a couple minutes before Lamb hit a huge 3-pointer and 50 seconds later made a free throw to tie the game at 69 with 1:45 left. Neither team scored for the remainder of regulation.
Allison Arens opened overtime with a 3-pointer. Miller hit a pair of free throws and Tagyn Larson nailed home a three to give SDSU a two-point lead. Sophomore Hannah Sjerven hit a rare 3-pointer, giving the Coyotes their final lead of the game.
Miller answered with a three of her own and the Jackrabbits never looked back. The Coyotes had an opportunity to tie in the final seconds of the game, but Duffy’s shot did not fall. Plitzuweit was trying to get a timeout called as Duffy brought the ball up the court, but the refs could not hear her or did not see her wanting the timeout called.
“I did not know that we had a timeout left and she (Plitzuweit) had told us that if they missed the free throw, we would call it and if not, we were just going to go.” Duffy said.
SDSU improved to 22-6 and 14-1 in the Summit League. The Coyotes fell to 24-4 and 12-2. The Jackrabbits host Western Illinois on March 2 to wrap up regular season play. USD still sits above the Jackrabbits in the latest AP poll, as the Coyotes fell to 26th and the Jacks are 27th. The Coyotes stayed inside the Top 25 of the USA Today/Coaches poll at 25th.
The Coyotes host two games this week to wrap up their regular season. Thursday night, USD hosts North Dakota State in the first game of a doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. The last meeting between the two was a 67-41 win for the Coyotes in Fargo on Dec. 30. The Coyotes wrap up the season on March 2 against North Dakota at 1 p.m. The last meeting was an 80-50 win for USD on Jan 24.
— Charlie Creme (@CharlieCreme) February 24, 2019