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Photo by: Robby Gallagher

SDSU season ends to South Carolina

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 03/23/2013 19:06:43

BOULDER, Colo. – South Carolina shot 60.7 percent from the field in the first half and placed four players in double figures, defeating South Dakota State, 74-52, Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Coors Events Center.

The Gamecocks, a Sweet 16 qualifier a year ago and ranked 14th in the USA Today coaches' poll, improved to 25-7 overall and will face the winner of Saturday’s late game between host Colorado and Kansas on Monday. SDSU ended its season 25-8 overall.

The two squads were locked in a tight contest for the first 10 minutes as the lead changed eight times with six ties. SDSU’s largest lead was 5-2 in the opening minute after a three-pointer by Ashley Eide and jumper by Leah Dietel.

South Carolina gained the lead for good at 15-14 on an Ashley Bruner basket that sparked a 6-0 run. The Jackrabbits drew back to within a basket at 21-19 on a Tara Heiser three-pointer with 9 minutes, 31 seconds to play in the first half, but South Carolina began to pull away with a 10-2 run over the next three-plus minutes. SDSU hit another drought over the final five minutes of the first half as South Carolina took a 44-26 lead into intermission.

Gabby Boever connected on a three-pointer from the left corner to open the scoring in the second half, but the Jackrabbits could get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way. Another 9-0 run by the Gamecocks gave them their largest lead of the afternoon at 27 points, 61-34, with 11:39 to play.

Bruner and Ieashia Walker shared game-high honors with 15 points, while Bruner completed a double-double with 11 rebounds. Elem Ibian tallied 13 points off the bench and Tiffany Mitchell added 11.

The Gamecocks cooled off in the second half, finishing the game 25-of-52 from the field for 48.1 percent, including a 4-for-11 effort from behind the arc. USC made 20-of-26 free throw attempts, 76.9 percent, and held a 40-28 rebounding advantage.

SDSU ended the afternoon 17-of-52 from the field, 32.7 percent, including 3-of-14 from three-point range. The Jackrabbits converted 15-of-18 attempts at the line, 83.3 percent.

Eide, one of three Jackrabbit seniors, was the lone SDSU player in double figures with 15. Boever tallied nine points, with Megan Waytashek and Mariah Clarin each adding eight.

Leah Dietel, Boever and Katie Lingle each collected four rebounds to lead the Jackrabbits.

NOTES: The Jackrabbits dropped to 1-5 in NCAA Tournament games … SDSU lost to a Southeastern Conference opponent for the first time, falling to 4-1 against teams from one of the premier leagues in the country and 3-15 against ranked opponents in the Division I era … the Jackrabbits’ 52 points marked their third-lowest output of the season and fewest since a 60-50 loss at nationally ranked Penn State on Dec. 16 … SDSU committed 16 turnovers, compared to 15 by the Gamecocks … Eide finished her Jackrabbit career 30th in scoring with 1,095 points … Eide reached double figures for the 26th time this season, finishing with a team-best 461 points (14.0 ppg) … Lingle ended her career tied with Tara Tessier for eighth place in career blocked shots with 97 … Boever ended the season with 79 steals -- sixth-most ever in a season by a Jackrabbit player and the most in the Division I era