SDSU women upset No. 10 Louisville, 65-55

South Dakota State’s Dru Gylten dribbles the ball during a 65-55 win over No. 10 ranked Louisville on Monday night in the Battle 4 Atlantis consolation championship in Paradise Island, Bahamas. (SDSU Athletics)

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – The South Dakota State women picked up a signature win in the Jackrabbits final game at the Battle 4 Atlantis as they beat No. 10 ranked Louisville 65-55 on Monday night.

It was SDSU’s second straight win after falling 72-65 to UCLA in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Saturday and beating Rutgers 75-56 on Sunday night. SDSU head coach Aaron Johnston said he liked the way his team bounced back after the opening loss and they played really hard to get a win over top-10 team.

“The players really played hard. That was the best effort we’ve had this year. I thought we were really competitive, I thought we were engaged and rebounded well. Their pressure got to us, but I think that also created some offense for us too. … Everyone that played in this game put a lot into it and I’m really happy to see them get rewarded with a win. Obviously that ‘s the goal, but I’m really happy with the effort and the toughness after a tough UCLA loss,” Johnston said.

SDSU led 8-4 with 3:26 to play in the first quarter, but Louisville closed the first quarter on a 7-0 run and led 11-8 after the one.

The Jacks turned the tables in the second quarter as they were the ones who went on a big run. The Cardinals led 17-10 with 6:49 left in the first half and SDSU then outscored Louisville 16-2 the rest of the quarter and took a 26-19 lead into the locker room.

SDSU would stretch its lead to 45-28 with 2:42 left in the third. Louisville then went on an 11-1 run to close out the third and cut the lead 46-39 heading into the fourth.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 50-47 three and a half minutes into the fourth. The Jacks would then go on another big run to secure the win as they outscored Louisville 10-3 the next four minutes and led 60-50 with 2:26 left. Free throws sealed the deal for SDSU and the Jacks finished the tournament on a high note.

SDSU shot 44.7% from the field and was 3-19 from three. Johnston said that it’s not often that you can beat a Top-10 team shooting like that, but the Jacks did the little things to come away with the upset.

“Typically if you go 3-19 from the 3-point line, you’ll have a hard time beating a top-10 team. You have to really do a lot of other things well to overcome that. We didn’t shoot it well, but we got to the free throw line and rebounded well. We took a bunch of charges when we needed to and we were timely offensively,” Johnston said.

Myah Selland led SDSU with 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. She scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and Johnston said it was nice to see her take over the game.

“… You really need players like [Selland] to [get things going] when things aren’t going well. When you’re out of sync and out of rhythm, you need a player that can go out there and get you a bucket and make a shot, or make the right pass. Myah was that for us in the fourth quarter. … Myah was a calming presence in that fourth quarter and she did a good job and made some big buckets for us,” Johnston said.

Paiton Burckhard had 10 points and five rebounds. Madysen Vlastuin had nine points. Kallie Theisen had six points and nine rebounds and Haleigh Timmer had six points.

Louisville shot 36.4% from the field and was 5-16 from three. Hailey Van Lith led the Cardinals with 26 points and four rebounds.

The Jacks won the rebound battle 41-24. SDSU had 20 turnovers and Louisville had 12. SDSU was 20-26 at the free throw line and Louisville was 10-15 at the line.

This was the fourth power-five team that SDSU has played in its first six games. The Jacks went 3-1 in those games and are now 4-2 on the season with their only other loss coming to No. 16 Creighton. Johnston said this is a big win, but there’s no let up in the schedule as SDSU still has to play three more power five teams, including No. 1 ranked South Carolina on Dec. 15 in Sioux Falls.

“We’re looking at 4-2 and four of those games have been against power-five teams. … We’ve really been tested probably more than any team that I’ve ever had, so I’m really proud of that and excited. I think we have a lot of good basketball in front of us. We’re learning how to play [with each other] and moving people around, and we continue to get better and that’s exciting,” Johnston said.

SDSU will travel to Washington State on Nov. 28. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 9 p.m. Central time.

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