Paradise Island, Bahamas – The South Dakota State women’s basketball team conceded a 72-65 contest against UCLA in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament Saturday afternoon. The Bruins’ win avenges a WNIT semifinal loss by the Jacks a season ago.
The Jackrabbits (2-2) trailed by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter but fought their way back to five with 1:20 left. UCLA (4-0) went 5-on-8 off the free throw line while forcing two SDSU turnovers in the final stretch to walk away with the seven-point win.
Haleigh Timmer a trio of jacks paced up and down in double digits. Timmer scored 12 points followed by Paiton Burkhard and Thor Nelson with 11 points each. Nelson was held to three field goals but went 5-for-6 off the free throw line. Mya Selland and Callie Theisen added eight points each.
The Jacks and Bruins traded points in the first 10 minutes, which saw two draws and six lead changes. UCLA finally reclaimed the lead with an 8-0 run to end the period 25-21 against the Jacks.
Selland quickly reduced the deficit to just one with a 3-pointer to start the second period, but UCLA responded with two baskets to bring their lead back to six points. Later, Nelson and Timmer combined for five straight SDSU points and came back for three before the Bruins scored six straight points to lead 44-35 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Bruins kept firing, extending their lead to 13 with a seven-point run. Theisen scored the last four points of the quarter from the free-throw line to make it a nine-point game with 10 minutes remaining.
UCLA previously pushed the lead to 15 Madysen Vlastuin grabbed a 3-pointer at 6:54 on the clock, sparking a 9-0 jackrabbit run that brought them back to six.
Ellie Colbeck forced a steal with 90 seconds remaining, which then led to a layup by Burckhard that put him down to five. From there, UCLA did enough of the free throw line to stay on top.
Both teams shot 42 percent from the field, but the Bruins had a 27-21 advantage in field goals scored. UCLA’s Chrisma Osborne scored 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting and a 6-of-8 shot from the free throw line. Emily Bessoir and Gabriel Jaquez each scored 11 points.
- The Jacks are now 2-1 all time against the Bruins. All three games were created in the last 12 months.
- The Jacks’ 21 field goals scored are a season low, but their six 3-pointers are a season high.
- Paiton Burkhard leads the country in career games played (134).
The state of South Dakota will face Rutgers in the next round of Battle 4 Atlantis on Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. EST.