Fighting Sioux hand USD women 76-48 loss

Fighting Sioux hand USD women 76-48 loss South Dakota's women's basketball team fell to the #2 ranked North Dakota Fighting Sioux, 76-48, in North Central Conference basketball at the Hyslop Sports Center on Friday night.

South Dakota (7-7, 2-5 in the NCC) hit just 18 of 63 field goals for 28.6 percent as they lost their fifth conference game in seven outings.

The Coyotes found some success from the 3-point range as they hit on five of 12 3-point field goals for 42 percent. They also hit seven of nine free throws for 78 percent.

North Dakota (14-0, 6-0 in the NCC) stayed unbeaten in the conference as they rolled to a 35-19 halftime lead and outscored the Coyotes, 41-29, in the second half. The Sioux hit 25 of 57 field goals for 44 percent and knocked home a torrid nine of 18 3-point baskets as well as 17 of 18 free throws for 94.4 percent.

The Coyotes stayed close to the Sioux early in the first half as Julia Frie grabbed an offensive rebound and scored inside and tied the game, 4-4, at the 16:23 mark. A 3-pointer by UND's Mandy Arndtson opened up the lead to 10-4 and a free throw by Theresa LeCuyer moved the lead to 15-6.

The Coyotes scored 8 unanswered points to cut the margin to 15-14, but North Dakota answered with a 15-1 run to grab a 30-15 lead with 3:19 to play.

South Dakota senior guard Kelly Koepp hit a field goal to draw the Coyotes within 30-19. But then the Fighting Sioux finished with a flurry, scoring the final 8 points of the half. UND guard Tonia Jones scored at the buzzer for the 37-19 lead.

South Dakota hit just eight of 31 first half field goals for 26 percent. Meanwhile, North Dakota made 12 of 28 field goals, including five of nine 3-point field goals and eight of nine free throws. Arndtson had 14 points and LeCuyer had 12 points to lead the Sioux. The Coyotes received 4 points from Frie, Koepp, Jodi Schroeder and Heather Nelson.

A 3-point basket by freshman shooting guard Krista Orsack pulled the Coyotes to 40-24 at the 18:06 mark of the second half. The Sioux received a lay-up and free throw on a 3-point play from Jenny Boll to increase the margin to 43-24.

Then, a pair of free throws by Boll moved the lead to 49-32. Later, Jones hit a jumper for the Sioux to increase the lead to 63-40 and Tamara Elias hit a 3-pointer as the Sioux moved ahead 70-42.

The Coyotes were led by Frie who had 14 points and five rebounds while Koepp added 13 points and seven rebounds. Orsack, who hit three 3-point baskets, tallied 9 points and Nelson added 6 points.

The Sioux received 18 points from Arndtson and 16 from LeCuyer. North Dakota had a huge advantage on the boards, 48-30, over the Coyotes.

Senior guard Kelly Gese had four assists to move into third place on the Coyote career assist chart. She now has 381.

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