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Bruins Suffer 62-59 Loss to South Dakota State in WNIT Semifinals

Mar 31, 2022
IImar'l Thomas (photo by Caren Nicdao)

BROOKINGS, S.D. – IImar'I Thomas scored a team-high 24 points as UCLA saw its season come to an end with a 62-59 loss to South Dakota State in the WNIT semifinals in Frost Arena on Thursday night.
 
After five fourth-quarter lead changes in a span of 1:11, Jackrabbits forward Myah Selland knotted the game at the free throw line, 58-58, with the last of her team-high 24 points and 1:13 remaining in regulation. Guard Haleigh Timmer knocked down the game-winning bucket on SDSU's next possession with a baseline jumper to bring her point total to 15.
 
The Bruins (18-13) were 0-of-11 from beyond-the-arc before hitting three of their next four shots from long range beginning at the 3:38 mark of the fourth. Charisma Osborne hit one triple and assisted on two others before ending the night with 11 points and eight assists.
 
Each team struggled to establish its offensive footing early, making just 2 of 8 shot attempts in the game's initial 5:12. The scoring picked up from that point on, however, with South Dakota State connecting twice out of the timeout. The Jackrabbits would establish a 12-8 lead with 1:37 to go in the first quarter, but UCLA closed with a 7-0 run that was capped by three free throws from Osborne with 0.8 seconds on the clock. The Bruins led by a 15-12 score after the first 10 minutes.
 
A Jaelynn Penn jumper with 6:56 to go in the second quarter extended the UCLA lead to 21-15 for its largest of the night. SDSU answered with a 5-0 spurt, capped by a Haleigh Timmer 3-pointer. The Jackrabbits used the final 2:38 to score six unanswered points and took a 27-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.
 
After scoring just 10 points in the second quarter, the Bruins matched that total in just 4:37 of the third. Thomas was the offensive standout in the frame, pouring in eight points. She twice brought the UCLA lead to four points, but South Dakota State closed strong and sent the game into the fourth all tied up at 40.