Late layup lifts FGCU over Jackrabbits, 71-70

Photo from www.gojacks.com.

CANCUN, Mexico – Ashli O’Neal went coast-to-coast for the game-winning bucket with 4.7 seconds remaining as Florida Gulf Coast dropped South Dakota State 71-70 to conclude the Cancun Challenge on Saturday afternoon at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.

The Eagles (8-1) posted a 3-0 record in the event, while the Jackrabbits (5-3) ended up 2-1. Notre Dame was 1-2 and No. 21 South Florida finished 0-3.

SDSU led 16-15 after a quarter and 35-33 at halftime. It scored six consecutive points to close the third to grab a 56-49 advantage.

FGCU’s Keri Jewett-Giles hit back-to-back 3-pointers and added a jumper to put her team ahead 57-56 with 7:31 remaining, setting the stage for a wild fourth quarter.

Later, the Eagles were up 63-60 following a Jewett-Giles trey with 4:18 showing on the clock.

Tylee Irwin scored with 3:54 to go and again with 2:13 left to put the Jackrabbits on top. 

Myah Selland turned an Irwin steal into a basket with 1:13 to play and converted a pair of free throws with 33 seconds remaining to put SDSU ahead 68-63.

FGCU’s Davion Wingate canned a 3-ball with 26 seconds left. Selland was whistled for an offensive foul on the ensuing inbound play, giving the ball back to the Eagles.

Wingate drew a foul on Irwin on a 3-point attempt soon thereafter. She made all three charity tosses to put the Eagles up 69-68 with 13 seconds left.

After a timeout moved the ball past midcourt, Selland took the inbound pass and attacked on the baseline, scoring with 9 seconds left to give SDSU its final lead at 70-69.

O’Neal received the ensuing inbound pass and sprinted downcourt, beating a Jackrabbit defender on the right side for the game-winning layup.

Tori Nelson’s 3-point attempt from the right wing rimmed off as time expired.

“In some ways we played well enough to win; both teams certainly did,” coach Aaron Johnston told SDSU Sports Information. “The last 30 seconds are obviously hard to swallow. We just had chances to win and finish the game.”

Jewett-Giles scored a game-high 24 points, Nasrin Ulel added 16 and Wingate 13. O’Neal contributed seven points in 29 minutes off the bench.

The Eagles went 13-of-34 from long range.

For SDSU, Selland had 20 points, Paiton Burckhard 17 and Tori Nelson 12. Burckhard grabbed nine rebounds and Selland dished out five assists.

Burckhard and Selland were named to the all-tournament team.

“I still feel good about where we are right now,” Johnston added. “Our team has really progressed and I thought we played very well. Offensively it was probably one of our more efficient games. We took better care of the basketball and I thought our shot selection was really good. We did all the things we needed to do to win, we just needed to finish the game better.”

South Dakota State is host to Coppin State on Thursday at 7 p.m.

FLORIDA GULF COAST 71, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 70

South Dakota State (5-3)

Tori Nelson 5-10 0-1 12, Paiton Burckhard 7-12 3-3 17, Myah Selland 5-13 10-11 20, Rylie Cascio Jensen 1-2 1-2 3, Tylee Irwin 3-7 2-2 8, Lindsey Theuninck 0-1 1-2 1, Kallie Theisen 1-4 0-0 2, Sydney Stapleton 3-4 0-0 7. Totals 25-53 17-21 70.

Florida Gulf Coast (8-1)

Tytionia Adderly 0-7 2-2 2, Davion Wingate 3-7 5-5 13, Alyssa Blair 0-2 1-2 1, Keri Jewett-Giles 8-13 2-2 24, Nasrin Ulel 6-14 1-1 16, Kerstie Phills 2-5 2-2 8, Tyra Cox 0-0 0-0 0, Emma List 0-0 0-0 0, Ashli O’Neal 2-5 3-3 7. Totals 21-53 16-17 71.

SDSU 16  19  21  14    70

FGCU 15  18  16  22    71

3-point goals – SDSU 3-10 (Nelson 2-4, Stapleton 1-2, Irwin 0-1, Theisen 0-1, Selland 0-2), FGCU 13-34 (Jewett-Giles 6-8, Ulel 3-8, Phills 2-4, Wingate 2-5, Blair 0-2, O’Neal 0-2, Adderly 0-5). Rebounds – SDSU 34 (Burckhard 9), FGCU 26 (Adderly 11). Assists – SDSU 11 (Selland 5), FGCU 12 (Adderly 4). Steals – SDSU 8 (Irwin 3), FGCU 8 (Adderly, Wingate, Jewett-Giles 2). Blocks – SDSU 4 (Theisen 2), FGCU 1 (Adderly 1). Turnovers – SDSU 14, FGCU 12. Total fouls – SDSU 16, FGCU 18. Fouled out – none. Technical fouls – none. A – 157.

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