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No. 3 Michigan ends South Dakota’s run, makes first Elite Eight

Mar 26, 2022; Wichita, KS, USA; South Dakota Coyotes center Hannah Sjerven (34) controls the ball against Michigan Wolverines center Brooklyn Rewers (23) during the Wichita regional semifinals of the women's college basketball NCAA Tournament at INTRUST Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Naz Hillmon had 17 points and Laila Phelia supplied 14, including the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds left, as No. 3 Michigan eliminated No. 10 South Dakota 52-49 in the Wichita Region semifinals of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

The Wolverines (25-6), who reached the Elite Eight for the first time in program history, will face top seed Louisville on Monday. Louisville defeated No. 4 seed Tennessee 76-64.

Hillmon, an All-American first-team selection, also grabbed 10 rebounds. Leigha Brown added 10 points.

Hannah Sjerven led the Coyotes (29-6) with 17 points and eight rebounds. Grace Larkins added nine points.

Hillmon was held scoreless and committed three turnovers in the first quarter as South Dakota grabbed an 11-9 lead.

The Coyotes’ lead was still two points at halftime, 26-24, led by Sjerven’s 11 points. Larkins knocked down two 3-pointers in the second quarter. Hillmon perked up, scoring six points, but Phelia topped the Wolverines with 12 points.

Michigan scored nine unanswered points midway through the third quarter to take a 37-32 lead. Hillmon scored five points during that span and Amy Dilk finished it off with a putback. South Dakota fought back on baskets from Liv Korngable and Kyah Watson in the last two minutes of the quarter to cut the Wolverines’ advantage to 39-38.

Brown scored in the lane with 4:09 left to give Michigan a 46-43 edge. After some empty possessions for both sides, Emily Kiser made a layup with 1:59 remaining to give the Wolverines a 48-43 lead. Watson then knocked down a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game.

Chloe Lamb’s basket with 51 seconds left tied it at 48-all before Phelia’s driving layup with 22 seconds left put Michigan on top to stay.

Lamb misfired on the Coyotes’ next possession. Brown then drained two free throws with 11 seconds left.

The Coyotes’ Maddie Krull split two free throws and South Dakota got one more possession, but Watson’s desperation 3-point try at the buzzer missed the mark.

–Field Level Media