Still Dancing: SDSU upsets Syracuse to advance

Landon Dierks, Sports Reporter

In its previous eight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the South Dakota State women’s basketball program had never advanced past the second round, falling just short of the Sweet 16 on two occasions.

The Jackrabbits would not be denied this time around.

Led by double-digit scoring efforts from Myah Selland, Madison Guebert, Macy Miller and Paiton Burckhard, 6-seed SDSU (28-6) downed 3-seed Syracuse (25-9) 75-64 on its home floor inside the Carrier Dome to earn a Sweet 16 rematch with the Oregon Ducks.

Syracuse’s full-court pressure defense gave the Jacks issues, particularly to start the fourth quarter. The Orange, down six points entering the final period, gained the lead back just 90 seconds into the quarter but were unable to hold off a late surge by the Jacks.

Guebert hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give SDSU a 67-62 lead with three minutes remaining. Syracuse was forced to foul down the stretch to extend the game but was unable to mount any late comeback.

Junior guard Tiana Mangakahia starred for the Orange, scoring 18 points and recording eight assists — becoming the school’s all-time leader in assists in the process. It just wasn’t enough for her team to advance.

SDSU will travel to Portland, Oregon, for its Sweet 16 date with the Ducks on Friday.