Jacks outlast UCLA, advance to WNIT title game


Joclyn Haven

The Jackrabbit women’s basketball team celebrates their hard-fought win over UCLA in the WNIT semifinal Thursday night at Frost Arena. This marks the second time the Jacks have beaten UCLA this season, having defeated the then-No.15 Bruins 76-66 in November.

Cooper Kanthak, Sports Reporter

The SDSU Women’s basketball team outlasted UCLA, 62-59 Thursday night at Frost Arena to advance to the WNIT Championship Game.

Myah Selland led the way for the Jacks with 24 points on 9-17 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.

Haleigh Timmer also chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds as well as hitting a go-ahead basket with 38 seconds to lead 60-58 late in the fourth quarter. Ilmar’I Thomas led the way for UCLA with 24 points.

“That was a tough win. Phenomenal crowd today. They were elite and into the game. I’m not sure that we get over the hump in that game if we don’t have them behind us.” Coach Aaron Johnston said about the sold-out crowd of 5,227 fans in Frost Arena.

The game opened with both teams trading buckets in the first quarter. UCLA had a chance at a buzzer-beater shot to end the opening frame but was fouled with .8 seconds on the clock and was awarded three free throws to take a 15-12 lead after one quarter of play.

The second quarter was just as close, but both teams were struggling shooting, especially from the 3-point line. SDSU had only one make from beyond the arc and UCLA went 0-8 from 3-point range in the first half. The Jacks held a two-point lead at halftime, 27-25.

After halftime, both teams started hitting shots at a higher percentage and that led to it being tied at 40 apiece at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter, as it has been all game, came down to a back-and-forth affair with each team trading buckets. The game was tied at 58 with 41 seconds remaining after a Jackrabbits timeout.

SDSU takes the lead, 60-58, after Timmer’s jump shot forcing UCLA to call a timeout. UCLA drew up a play to get a good look at tying the game.  After a few missed layups, UCLA’s Ilmar’l Thomas was fouled and awarded two free throws.  She made the first one but missed the second.

After a foul and two made free throws by Tori Nelson, SDSU led by three. UCLA called a timeout to draw up a 3-point try but was unsuccessful, giving the Jacks the win.

“I think late in games our team does a really good job of trusting each other and I think we just move the ball and know when it’s your shot, take it with confidence,” Timmer said.

SDSU will play in the first WNIT championship in program history on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. as they host Seton Hall at Frost Arena.