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Macy Miller puts up a shot against Villanova Friday night.
courtesy SDSU Athletics
Macy Miller puts up a shot against Villanova Friday night.

Villanova outlasts SDSU Women in Overtime


The Associated Press - March 17, 2018

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Villanova is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament last a little longer.

Adrianna Hahn scored 24 points, including a key 3-pointer in overtime to help the No. 9 seed Wildcats beat eighth-seeded South Dakota State 81-74 on Friday night in the first round of the women's NCAAs.

This was the first NCAA Tournament win for the Wildcats since 2004 when they beat Mississippi State 66-63 in the opening round. Villanova, which hadn't played in the NCAAs in five years, had to work for the victory.

South Dakota State trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter before rallying to tie the game when Madison Guebert banked in a 3-pointer from the wing just before the buzzer at the end of regulation.

"We just kind of chipped away the whole game and gave ourselves a chance there in overtime," Guebert said.

"When I saw that shot go in my heart sunk and I just couldn't believe that we were going to continue playing the game," Hahn said of the game-tying shot. "But we just had to keep playing just like we played at the beginning."

In a game that Villanova never trailed and that was tied only twice, the Wildcats needed some hot 3-point shooting in overtime to finally squelch the Jackrabbits' comeback and secure the win.

With the game tied at 70 in overtime, the Wildcats hit three straight 3-pointers — the first two by Jannah Tucker. Hahn's 3-pointer made it 79-70 with 55 seconds left and Villanova (23-8) advanced to play top seed and former Big East rival Notre Dame.

Tucker finished with 20. Mary Gedaka had 15 and Alex Louin added 10.

Macy Miller paced the Jackrabbits (26-7) with 25 points. Guebert had 21 points and Ellie Thompson had 16 to round out double-digit scorers for South Dakota State.

In a game that saw the script flipped, Villanova proved that experience didn't necessarily matter for success in the postseason.

South Dakota State was making its eighth appearance in the last 10 NCAA Tournaments while the Wildcats were making their first appearance in the last five years.

None of the Villanova players had ever played in an NCAA Tournament game while five Jackrabbits were on a team that played two games in the 2016 tournament.

The inexperienced Wildcat players weren't impressed, especially early on.

Hahn sparked an immediate 3-point barrage for Villanova with three triples in the first four minutes of the game as the Wildcats built a quick 14-4 lead that ballooned to 26-11 at the end of the first quarter.

"They're a great team and they don't beat themselves," Tucker said of knowing South Dakota State would make a comeback. "So we knew if we let up and if we continue to make little mistakes, they were going to make us pay for them."

The Wildcats came into the contest averaging 8.7 made 3-pointers per game.

They had 10 3-pointers at halftime, which already tied their season high for 3-pointers in game, and finished with 16 total triples on 38 long-range attempts, also a season high.

"We had to make threes to win the game," said Villanova coach Harry Perretta, who told his team before the game that at least 12 3-pointers were needed to have a chance. "The big talk at halftime was to continue shooting the three, and that was the big talk before the game."

On the other side, the Jackrabbits shot only three of 16 3-pointers for the game.

"Three-point shooting was clearly the difference," said South Dakota State Aaron Johnston. "We're a better shooting team than that. We just couldn't get any of them to go."



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