USD women romp to 81-54 win over D-WU

USD women romp to 81-54 win over D-WU The University of South Dakota women's basketball team (6-3) shot 54.3 percent in the second half and rolled to a 81-54 victory over Dakota Wesleyan (5-8) in a non-conference game Dec. 15 in the DakotaDome.

USD hit 19-of-35 second-half field goals and outscored the visiting Tigers 48-30 as they broke away from a 9-point halftime lead (33-24). In the second half, the Coyotes hit 7 of 13 3-point field goals, including three each by sophomore guard Nicole Jaycox and freshman guard Krista Orsack. The Coyotes have now won five of seven non-conference games this season.

On the night, sophomore forward Heather Nelson scored 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and recorded three assists in her best game of the young season. She hit six of 10 field goals, including two of three from 3-point range, and both of her free throws. The Coyotes also received double figure scoring from three other players, including Jaycox with 11, and Orsack and senior guard Kelly Koepp, who each added 10 points.

Early on, the Coyotes had difficulty making shots from the field. The Coyotes converted just 10 of 35 (.286) first-half shots. Nonetheless, USD opened up a 13-6 lead at the 14:27 mark of the first half on a field goal by freshman forward Jodi Schroeder. Dakota Wesleyan pulled within 15-10 after a basket by Randi Morgan. Then USD went on a 7-0 run to push their lead to 22-10 at the 8:13 mark on two Jaycox free throws. A 3-pointer by Nikki Weber, a field goal and foul shot by Vicki Drefs pulled the Tigers within 22-16 with 6:51 to play in the half. The Coyotes went on another 7-0 run, capped by a field goal by Schroeder, to give the Coyotes a 29-16 lead with 3:33 to play. The Coyotes increased the lead to 33-20 when sophomore forward Julia Frie hit two free throws with 1:20 left. Then Dakota Wesleyan had a field goal from Drefs and two foul shots by Jennifer Meier to pull with 33-24 at halftime. While the Coyotes were struggling from the field, the Tigers also had a tough time with their shooting. They made just 10 of 31 (.323) first-half shots. Morgan scored 8 points in the opening half for the visitors.

The final 20 minutes of play was all USD. The Coyotes opened up a 45-27 lead at the 16:12 mark when Koepp hit consecutive 3-point plays.

On both scoring plays, Koepp scored from near the basket and converted a free throw after being fouled. The Coyotes moved in front 61-41 with 9:55 to play when sophomore forward Amanda Iverson scored inside off a feed from Koepp.

A few minutes later, USD took off on an 11-0 run to move the advantage to 72-43, keyed by a Jaycox 3-point basket with 5:25 to play. Another 3-point basket by Jaycox gave the Coyotes an 80-47 lead with 3:24 left. Dakota Wesleyan outscored the Coyotes 7-1 in the final three minutes.

USD senior guard Kelly Gese had 9 points, two rebounds, nine assists, and a steal while Schroeder had 8 points. Frie had 7 points, three assists, two steals and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Dakota Wesleyan was led in scoring by Drefs who had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Emily Janssen added 11 points and Morgan had 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

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