WNIT: South Dakota State ends Minnesota’s season

WNIT: South Dakota State ends Minnesota's season

Time ran out on Minnesota’s WNIT campaign, specifically in the third quarter of a second round game against South Dakota State.

After pulling to within 33-30 at intermission on Deja Winters’ 3-pointer, the Gophers couldn’t buy a basket in a decisive third quarter as South Dakota State advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 78-57 victory at Frost Arena in Brookings , SD

The Gophers were one of two losing teams invited to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and proved they belonged when they rallied past Green Bay in the opening round. But the Jackrabbits, the regular-season champions of the Summit League, outscored Minnesota 26-10 in the third quarter to bring a 59-40 lead into the final frame.

“It was a well-fought first half,” coach Lindsay Whalen said on KFAN-plus 96.7 FM. “We just didn’t have enough in the second half.”

The Gophers pulled within 59-45 on consecutive baskets by Winters but South Dakota State used a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach, 69-45 with 4 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game.

Haleigh Timmer scored a game-high 24 points, and Myah Selland added 18 points and seven rebounds for the Jackrabbits (25-9), who will meet the winner of Monday night’s game between Drake and Northern Iowa in the regional semifinals.

“We all thought they should probably be in the NCAA tournament,” Whalen said, “and they kind of showed it today.”

Gophers point guard Sara Scalia had her string of double-digit scoring games broken, held to eight points on 3-of-14 shooting, and Kadi Sissoko – who had averaged 19 points in her past five games – who played in foul trouble for much of the game and finished with nine points in just 16 minutes.

Winters and Gadiva Hubbard, graduate seniors playing their last games, each scored 11 points for Minnesota, which bows out with a 15-18 record after finishing 7-11 in the Big Ten this season.

“I try to keep track of the practices; it’s 120 now,” Whalen said. “We’ve been working since September, and to be able to play on March 20, it’s great. Our goal will always be the NCAA, but the experience we had the last 10 days will springboard us ahead to the future.”

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