USD women open season with loss to Wayne State The University of South Dakota women's basketball team (0-1) fell to Wayne State (NE) 74-58 in the first game of the Tri-State Classic Nov. 17.
The Wildcats (1-0) opened up a 39-22 halftime lead and then held the Coyotes at bay in the second half.
Three Coyotes scored in double figures, including 12 points by senior guard Kelly Gese and sophomore forward Julia Frie. Senior guard Kelly Koepp added 11 points for the Coyotes.
Gese, who returned to action after sitting out last year because of injury following an all-NCC season in 1998-99, had a strong game as she hit five of seven field goals and two of three free throws while dealing out seven assists. Frie, five of nine from the field, also had five rebounds.
USD struggled from the field in the first half, hitting just nine of 29 shots (.310). The Coyotes improved their shooting to 15 of 27 in the second half (.556), outscoring Wayne State 36-35, but the halftime deficit was too large to overcome.
Overall the Coyotes made 24 of 56 field goals and were just four of 14 (.286) from beyond the 3-point arc. Free throw shooting also hurt USD, who made just six of 14 attempts (.429).
While the Coyotes shot poorly in the opening half, the Wildcats made 15 of 27 field goals (.556). For the game they were 27 of 49 (.551) and hit eight of 15 3-point field goals. They also converted 12 of 16 free throws and out-rebounded the Coyotes, 40-22.
Wayne State was led in scoring by Karen Hochstein, who hit nine of 15 field goals and seven of eight free throws, for 25 points. She also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Krista Bernadt was on fire for Wayne State as she went six of six from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers and had 14 points while Sara Miller added 11.
Wayne State jumped to a 7-2 lead early in the first half before the Coyotes answered on a jumper by Koepp and a 3-pointer by Heather Nelson to tie the game at 7-7. At the 12:51 mark, a jumper by Gese gave the Coyotes their last lead of the game at 13-12.
From that point, Wayne State went on a 15-4 run to grab a 27-17 advantage at the 7:13 mark of the first half. After a basket by freshman Jodi Schroeder, the Wildcats again went on a run, this time scoring 9 straight points to extend their lead to 36-19 with 1:44 to play. The Coyotes added four free throws in the final 1:07 but still trailed 39-22.
Wayne State opened up a 48-28 lead at the 15:51 mark of the second half. An 11-5 run pulled USD within 53-39 and later a Gese jumper drew the Coyotes within 60-47 but that was as close as the Coyotes would get during the second half.