With 8.2 seconds left and trailing by one, SDSU opted to put the ball in their star sophomore’s hands to win the game.
Macy Miller looked for space, gave the ball off to Ellie Thompson, received the pass back and, like she had done for most of the game, attacked the lane.
The Stanford interior defense was ready for this one as a swarm of Cardinal defenders closed in on Miller. Erica McCall sent back the Miller shot attempt. Kerri Young grabbed the loose ball and put up a desperation shot, but was unable to convert, sending Stanford to its 10th Sweet 16 appearance in as many years and ending the Jackrabbit women’s basketball season.
The Jacks, who finish the season with an 27-7 record, were unable to close out this second round contest against the Cardinal. Leading 62-54 with 4:43 left in the game, SDSU was only able to score three points the rest of the way, all on free throws, while the Cardinal made their comeback.
That comeback was cemented by Lilli Thompson. Thompson drove into the lane against Jackrabbit senior Gabrielle Boever and connected a highly difficult layup with eight seconds left. She was also fouled on the play and went to the free throw line with the score tied.
Thompson, a 79 percent free throw shooter, had hit just three of her first seven free throw attempts, but she hit the game-winning free throw to send the Jackrabbits home on a sour note.
McCall led Stanford with 20 points, 12 rebounds and the game-saving block. Thompson finished with 19 points to go along with five assists and two steals.
Miller led a quartet of Jackrabbits in double figures with 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting and eight rebounds. Thompson added 14 points and five rebounds while Young added 13 points on a perfect three-of-three from three-point range. Clarissa Ober finished with 12 points, six rebounds and a game-high two blocks.
Stanford moves on to the Sweet 16 to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a team SDSU already faced this season.
The Jacks return six of their top eight rotation players next season, including all five starters.