Mavericks lose to USD women 70-54

Mavericks lose to USD women 70-54 South Dakota women's basketball team (9-10, 4-8 in the NCC) snapped a two-game losing streak and had their best performance of the North Central Conference season in a 70-54 win over Nebraska-Omaha (6-14, 4-8 in the NCC) at Sapp Fieldhouse on Feb. 2.

Senior point guard Kelly Gese led the way for South Dakota with 18 points, six assists and four rebounds. Julia Frie joined Gese in double figures with 14 points and nine rebounds, and Kelly Koepp added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Just 20 seconds into the game, Frie knocked home 3-point baskets for a 3-0 lead. Then junior forward Alissa Koronkiewicz scored consecutive baskets inside to give the Coyotes an 11-7 lead. A jumper by sophomore Heather Nelson, a 3-point basket and a lay-up by Amanda Iverson moved the Coyote lead to 20-9.

The Coyotes continued their offensive surge as Koepp hit consecutive 3-point baskets as the Coyotes gained a 26-12 lead. After a 3-point basket by UNO's Andi Sutherland, Frie scored the game's next 6 points as the Coyotes increased the lead to 31-15. A jumper by Gese gave the Coyotes a 37-17 lead.

But the Mavericks fought back, outscoring the Coyotes 13-2 during the remainder of the half to pull within 39-30 at the break. Six points by Anna Bomstad, who scored 13 points on the night, keyed the late first half run by the Mavericks.

The Coyotes, who shot over 60 percent in the opening 10 minutes, ended the half 17 of 36 from the field for 47.2 percent. They hit four of 12 3-point baskets and hit their only free throw.

Significant in the half was the Coyotes' effort on the boards. South Dakota outrebounded the taller Mavericks, 21-18, including a 7-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. Gese led the Coyotes with 10 points in the first half while Frie had 8 and Amanda Iverson had 7.

Nebraska-Omaha continued to cut into the Coyote lead early in the second half. UNO scored consecutive baskets to pull within 39-34. A 3-point basket by Koepp moved the lead to 42-34. Koepp added a lay-up on the next possession as South Dakota increased the lead to 44-34.

The lead stayed between 8 and 10 points for the next few minutes, until Gese's lay-up gave the Coyotes a 54-42 lead. But the Mavericks received consecutive 3-point baskets from Kara Paul and Mitchell to draw within 54-48.

A lay-up by Koepp gave the Coyotes a 59-49 lead. After a UNO basket by Bomstad, Krista Orsack hit a 3-point basket for a 62-51 Coyotes' lead. In the final 1:11, the Coyotes hit eight of 10 free throws to salt away the victory.

While South Dakota did not sustain their shooting in the second half (10-30-33.3 percent), they were able to score at critical times. During the game, the Coyotes hit 27 of 66 field goals for 40.9 percent. Led by Koepp's three, 3-point baskets, South Dakota hit seven of 24 3-point baskets for 29.2 percent. They were nine of 12 from the free throw line, including six of six from Gese.

Koronkiewicz had a solid game for South Dakota with 8 points, four rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. South Dakota won the rebound battle, 42-40.

UNO had a difficult night shooting from the field. They hit just 21 of 59 field goals for 35.6 percent, including just six of 30 from 3-point range. They were six of 10 from the free throw line. Mitchell led the Mavericks with 14 points while Rachel Volnek had nine rebounds.

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