Koepp seals USD's 72-71 OT win over Bison USD's senior guard Kelly Koepp hit a pair of crucial shots in overtime to send South Dakota women's basketball team (11-10, 6-8 in the NCC) to a dramatic 72-71 North Central Conference win over No. 9 North Dakota State (19-5, 9-4 in the NCC) Feb. 9 in the DakotaDome.
On Parent's Night, both of South Dakota's seniors, Koepp and point guard Kelly Gese, had big nights. Koepp ended with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two huge shots late in overtime. Gese hit seven of 13 field goals, grabbed four rebounds and had four assists.
Also playing key roles were sophomore forward Julia Frie, who hit five of 11 field goals, and had 15 points and seven rebounds while sophomore Heather Nelson had 18 points, including three of six from the 3-point line. She also hit five of six free throws.
The win keeps South Dakota in the running for one of the NCC Postseason Tourney spots. South Dakota improved their overall home record to 7-4, including a 4-4 home record in NCC games. Lavin improved his overall record at South Dakota to 111-78 (.587).
The Coyotes jumped to a quick start over the visitors from Fargo, forging a 6-2 lead as Gese scored 4 points for South Dakota. NDSU tied the game on a jumper by Donni Luecke. Shortly thereafter, the Coyotes' Amanda Iverson hit a jumper and South Dakota led 10-6.
NDSU took a 14-12 lead on a foul shot by Jaime Berry. Coyote freshman Krista Orsack hit a 3-pointer as the Coyotes grabbed back the lead at 19-18. The Bison jumped ahead 24-21 on a lay-up by Janna Davis. With 1:47 to play, Frie hit a pair of free throws as South Dakota moved to a 28-27 lead.
A lay-up by South Dakota's Jodi Schroeder gave the Coyotes a 30-27 lead. But Berry tied the game by hitting a 3-point baskets with 30 seconds to play in the half and sent both teams into the locker room tied 30-30.
South Dakota hit 11 of 30 field goals for 36.7 percent in the first half. They were two of eight from 3-point range and six of seven from the free throw line. Gese had 10 points to lead the Coyotes. The Bison hit 13 of 31 field goals for 41.9 percent. They were just two of 10 from 3-point range and two of four from the free throw line. Jaye Amundson had 7 points to lead the Bison.
In the second half, with the Coyotes leading 35-34, South Dakota went on a 10-2 run and a Gese basket moved the lead to 45-36. But a basket by Angie Froehlich cut the Coyote lead to 45-40. Frie scored a lay-up as the Coyotes maintained an 8-point lead (50-42). The lead grew to 54-45 on a pair of foul shots by Nelson. Once again, the Bison rallied. A lay-up by Jayne Boeddeker cut the Coyotes' lead to 54-51.
Nelson hit a lay-up on a breakout against the NDSU pressing defense as the Coyotes moved ahead 58-52. The Bison answered with a pair of 3-point baskets by Amanda Gehrke to draw within 59-58. Then Berry hit a free throw to tie the game at 59-59. Koepp scored on a jumper as the Coyotes grabbed back the lead at 61-59. Amundson then hit a pair of foul shots to tie the game, and when Frie couldn't convert inside, the game went into overtime.
Right away, Nelson hit a 3-point basket for a 64-61 lead. NDSU worked back into a lead when Amundson had two more free throws and the Bison had a 65-64 lead. Again Nelson answered with a 3-point basket as the Coyotes moved back in front 67-65.
When Gehrke scored on a lay-up, the Bison had a 3-point margin. But that is when Koepp showed her senior leadership and put the Coyotes' fortunes on her back. She hit a jumper with 1:09 to play and then knocked home a tough shot with 14 seconds left as South Dakota won their sixth NCC game this season.
Overall South Dakota hit 27 of 66 shots for 36.7 percent, including six of 17 3-point baskets for 35.3 percent. The Coyotes were 12 of 19 from the foul line for 63.2 percent.
NDSU hit 24 of 61 field goals for 39.3 percent and were just five of 20 from 3-point range for 25 percent. They hit 18 of 26 free throws for 69.2 percent. Amundson had 17 points and six assists for the Bison. Gehrke added 15 points and eight rebounds while Boeddekker had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Luecke finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Overall, NDSU held a 50-34 rebound margin but had four more turnovers than South Dakota.