Jackrabbits fall in OT to Villanova in 1st round of NCAA Tourney

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Madness at Notre Dame!

A 3-point shot by Madison Guebert with time winding down banked in to tie the game at 68-68 and forced overtime between the Jackrabbits and Villanova on Friday night at Purcell Pavilion on the campus of Notre Dame.

But the thrilling comeback to force extra time – after trailing the entire game – turned out to be anticlimactic after the Wildcats hit three straight 3-pointers to take a 79-70 lead en route to an 81-74 first-round victory over South Dakota State to ad- vance in the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

SDSU never led in the contest as Villanova knocked down six treys in the rst quarter to build a 26-11 advantage after 10 minutes.

The ‘Rabbits went on a 10-3 run over the rst 5 1/2 minutes of the second frame to get within 29-21, but the Wildcats scored their final nine points of the half on 3-pointers as they led 38-27 at the intermission.

Villanova went 10-for-20 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, compared to 1-of-4 for the Jacks.

Kelly Jekot hit yet another trey to open the second-half scoring before SDSU went on an 8-0 to get within six points at 41-35 with 5:22 left in the third. But the Wildcats closed with their own 11-7 run to lead 52-42 through three.

Mary Gedaka’s basket in the paint gave Villanova a 54-42 lead at the 8:41 mark, but from there, the Jacks whittled away at the margin – getting within three points at 56-53 following an Ellie Thompson layup with 3:50 to play.

A pair of Macy Miller free throws cut it to one at 56-55 with 3 minutes left, but Adrianna Hahn buried a long 3-pointer to push the Wildcats’ advantage back to four, 59-55.

Two Jekot free throws made it 62-56 with 36 seconds on the clock before Miller scored on a layup to get back within four at 62-58. Another Jekot free throw pushed the lead back to five points, but Guebert drilled a 3 for a two-point difference with 24 ticks on the clock.

A quick foul sent Alex Louin to the line, where she converted 1-of-2, and then Ellie Thomp- son scored inside to get SDSU within a point at 64-63 with 16 seconds left.

Another foul put Hahn on the charity stripe and the sharp-shooter hit both to give Villanova a 66-63 edge with 14 to play.

Miller again drove and scored and the Jack fouled to send Hahn back to the line, where she knocked down two more for a 68-65 lead with 7 seconds to play, which set up Guebert’s buzzer beater which sent the game into OT.

The Wildcats finished 16-of-38 from downtown to improve to 23-8 as both Hahn and Jannah Tucker hit six 3-pointers apiece on the way to 24 and 20 points, respectively.

Miller had a game-high 25 points to lead the Jacks, while Guebert had 20 and Thompson 16 as SDSU finished with a 26-7 mark.

NOTES (From SDSU Sports Information): Miller set the single-season record for a junior with 603 points, topping the 583 points scored by Shannon Schlagel in 2003-04... Miller surpassed the 1,700-point mark with her 25 points. She has now scored 1,717 career points... Guebert’s 21 points pushed her into the school’s top 20 with 1,340 points for 20th, passing both Angela Swenson (1993-96) and Pat Dobratz (1970-73)... Thompson finished 25th in scoring with 1,278 points... Villanova sank 16 3-pointers, the most by a Jackrabbit opponent since 2017.

Robert Franklin/AP photo: South Dakota State’s Ellie Thompson (45) competes for a loose ball with Villanova’s Mary Gedaka (30) and Alex Louin during the Jackrabbits’ 81-74 loss to the Wildcats in overtime in a first-round game in the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament on Friday in South Bend, Ind.


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