Irish basketball star Edel Thornton has helped her team make history in reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships, writes Mary White.
Against all odds, Quinnipiac - with whom Thornton is on a basketball scholarship - caused their second upset in-a-row when they defeated fourth seed Miami 85-78 in Florida on Tuesday morning (1am Irish time).
It is not yet officially confirmed, but Thornton is likely to be the first Irish-born basketball player who will feature at this stage of the prestigious 'March Madness' tournament.
A former Irish international who played SuperLeague basketball as a teenager with Brunell in Cork City, Thornton is in her second year on scholarship with the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The Hamden-based college in Connecticut are 29-6 for the season, and will continue their Cinderella run into the Sweet 16 when they face the number one seeded South Carolina in the Stockton region in California on Saturday at 1pm local time (8pm Irish time).
Quinnipiac advances to the Sweet 16. They beat Miami 85-78. Quinnipiac plays No.1 South Carolina this Saturday pic.twitter.com/BBVCo02VLJ— Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network (@QBSN) March 21, 2017
Thornton featured throughout the game in which the Bobcats hit an incredible 15 three-pointers - the second most in NCAA finals history in a single game - to shock Miami in Florida on Tuesday morning.
It is the first time the team has reached the Sweet 16 stage of the competition.
The win also makes Quinnipiac the fourth 12th seed in NCAA Division I women's basketball history to advance the Sweet 16, joining BYU in 2014, Kansas in 2013 and San Francisco in 1996. In addition, Quinnipiac becomes the fourth team in history to defeat a No. 5 and No. 4 seed to advance to the Sweet 16.
The game was broadcast live on ESPN2 in the United States, and Saturday's game will also be broadcast live.