March Madness: USC girls lose in extra time to South Dakota State

Destiny Littleton’s game-tying three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation gave USC’s girls’s basketball group additional life.

But the Trojans squandered it. USC should wait one other 12 months for an opportunity at its first NCAA match victory since 2006.

Despite a file effort from Rayah Marshall, the eighth-seeded Trojans have been ousted within the first spherical of the NCAA match by No. 9 South Dakota State, dropping 62-57 in extra time at Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum on Friday night time.

“Credit South Dakota State,” second-year USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb stated. “They are a really good team. We knew that. They are poised and experienced and we tried to make it really hard for them, and I thought when they needed to, they made the winning plays. I’m really proud. I’m proud of our team and I’m proud of the people in the locker room. The journey we went on was an exceptional one. We wish it were longer.”

The Trojans (21-10) held the Jackrabbits (29-5) to their fourth-lowest scoring whole of the season, however USC’s defensive efforts weren’t sufficient. South Dakota State has now gained 22 straight video games and can face host and No. 1 seed Virginia Tech on Sunday.

In addition to her double-double of 17 factors and 13 rebounds, Marshall blocked seven pictures, breaking USC’s single-season file for blocks. The mark was set within the 1992-93 season by Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie, who had 95. Marshall completed this season, her sophomore marketing campaign, with 98.

“For me, I just like to come and compete,” Marshall stated. “I feel like when I’m blocking shots on the defensive end, I’m sparking my team full of energy. Definitely going to have to brag to Lisa a little bit about that.”

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Littleton scored 18 factors and Kadi Sissoko added 10 for USC.

South Dakota State was powered by two-time Summit League Player of the Year Myah Selland, who ended with 29 factors and 9 rebounds. Paige Meyer chipped in 16 factors.

“Shoot, to me she’s a pro. She scores at all three levels,” Gottlieb stated of Selland. “Their system and their offense makes it really hard. You can’t really double her right because they will kick out for threes. She is constantly moving.”

USC and South Dakota State have been evenly matched, however the Trojans misplaced the rebounding battle by six, missed 5 free throws, and shot 31% from the ground.

The Trojans constructed an early benefit by opening the sport with a 12-2 run. South Dakota State — which entered with the nation’s Tenth-best scoring offense at 79.4 factors per recreation — shot simply two of 12 from the ground within the first quarter.

South Dakota State chipped away at that deficit within the second quarter, and led by as many as seven factors within the third.

After falling behind, USC put collectively a 9-2 run within the fourth quarter and the 2 sides swapped leads earlier than Littleton’s well timed shot despatched the sport into an additional interval. Selland began extra time by sparking a 9-2 run to provide the Jackrabbits a cushion.

USC will lose a minimum of a pair of starters this offseason in Littleton and Sissoko, who’ve exhausted their eligibility. But No. 1 total recruit JuJu Watkins can be arriving subsequent season.

“Obviously, we don’t want to be out in the first round, but USC has not been here in a very long time,” Littleton stated. “So, that was my No. 1 goal coming here, to get USC back into the NCAA tournament, and we checked that off the list.”

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