Quinnipiac women’s basketball team 21 game winning streak snapped in 1st round NCAA Tournament defeat to South Dakota State
Sporting the second longest winning streak in the nation at 21 games in a row, the Quinnipiac Bobcats (26-7) put that on the line against a potent South Dakota State (27-6) squad averaging 80 points per game and four players averaging double figures in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York on Saturday morning.
Early on both teams’ were trading baskets at the frantic pace and leads kept changing back and forth. The Bobcats shot very well at 50 percent and almost 67 percent from beyond the arc. Senior forward Paula Strautmane and senior guard/forward Aryn McClure combined to score 13 points but the Jackrabbits held a 22-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With McClure picking up her second foul with seven minutes left in the second quarter, South Dakota State started to build the lead steadily, eventually to double digits at 34-24 with four and half minutes remaining. The Jackrabbits pushed the advantage up to as many as 14 points before settling for a 41-30 halftime lead, shooting a smoking a 51 percent from the perimeter, 62 percent from three-point land and scoring 22 points in the paint.
In the third quarter, the momentum shifted back to the Bobcats favor due to the play of Jen Fay pouring in 10 points as South Dakota State’s lead shrunk to 56-49 at the end of the period. However, Quinnipiac did not have an answer for Jackrabbits guard Macy Miller tallying 18 of her game high 28 points.
A lay-up from McClure shaved the deficit to 58-53 with less than nine minutes left. That would be the last points McClure would score fouling out at the four-minute mark with 11 points. The Bobcats still managed to close within 62-59 at the 3:30 juncture on a lay-up from Fay.
With South Dakota State up 66-61, Miller provided the dagger burying a trifecta with 1:30 to go. Down the stretch the Jackrabbits hit their free throws, ending up 18 for 21 in the second half and 20 of 24 overall.
Fay finished with a game high 25 points and nine rebounds and Paula Strautmane delivered 15 points. Quinnipiac shot 35 percent from the floor, 4 of 16 from behind the arc and 15 of 21 from the charity stripe line.
Sunil Sunder Raj
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