USD women upset No. 2 North Dakota 74-65

USD women upset No. 2 North Dakota 74-65 The South Dakota women's basketball team won its fourth straight game, stopping No. 2 ranked North Dakota, 74-65, on Feb. 10 at the DakotaDome.

The Coyotes, who won their seventh NCC game of the season, displayed their best offensive and defensive effort of the season in the win over North Dakota.

In the first half, South Dakota limited the Fighting Sioux to five of 22 shooting from the field for 22.7 percent. UND made just two of four 3-point field goals in the opening half. And, South Dakota limited the explosive Fighting Sioux squad to just 19 points.

Early on North Dakota jumped to a quick 7-3 lead after a steal by Mandy Arndtson and lay-up by Jenny Boll. But the momentum quickly changed to the Coyotes' end of the floor as South Dakota went on a 20-5 scoring run.

A jumper by Heather Nelson pulled South Dakota within 10-9. The Coyotes grabbed their first lead of the game at 13-12 when freshman guard Krista Orsack hit a jumper. A lay-up by Julia Frie increased the lead to 15-12. South Dakota went up 19-12 when Iverson broke free inside.

South Dakota grabbed its largest lead of the half when Kelly Gese drove for a lay-up and a 23-12 lead . But the Sioux finally scored when Marisa Leighton hit a pair of free throws. Then a jumper by Tonia Jones cut the Coyote lead to 23-16.

Nelson hit a pair of free throws for the Coyotes as they built a 25-16 lead. A free throw by Arndtson closed out the first-half scoring as the Coyotes went to the locker room with a 25-17 lead over the nation's number two team.

South Dakota hit 10 of 23 field goals for 43.5 percent in the opening half but was unable to connect from 3-point range in four attempts. They were seven of seven from the free throw line. Nelson had 8 points to lead South Dakota. North Dakota, which won the rebound battle 19-13, received 7 points from Arntson.

The Coyotes had a strong second half performance, hitting 11 of 18 field goals for a season-high 61.1 percent.

When Koepp knocked down a 3-pointer to open the second half, the Coyotes opened an 11-point lead. But a lay-up by Janel Palbicki and 3-point play by Theresa LeCuyer pulled the Fighting Sioux within 30-26. South Dakota answered when Orsack hit a 3-point basket for a 33-26 lead.

Shortly thereafter, a lay-up by Gese gave South Dakota a 37-28 lead. The Coyotes moved ahead 45-33 on a pair of foul shots by Nelson, who then drained a 3-pointer and South Dakota owned a 48-35 lead.

A jumper by Koepp moved the lead to 50-37. A few seconds later, Nelson hit two foul shots and South Dakota had their biggest lead of the game at 52-37.

The teams traded baskets for the next few minutes and Amanda Iverson's two foul shots gave South Dakota a 63-48 lead. A lay-up by Becky Moen of UND drew the Sioux within 64-53. But again the Coyotes answered when Gese hit a jumper. The closest North Dakota could get for rest of the game was 9 points, 74-65, when Moen scored on a lay-up at the buzzer.

Overall, the Coyotes hit 21 of 41 shots for 51.2 percent and four of 10 from 3-point range for 40 percent. The Coyotes made 28 of 37 free throws for 75.7 percent.

Gese again had an outstanding game for South Dakota, scoring 17 points, handing out five assists and grabbing six rebounds. Nelson led South Dakota with 19 points and she hit all 10 of her free throws. Koepp had 11 points and five rebounds while Frie had 10 points and seven rebounds.

UND hit 24 of 60 field goals for 40 percent and were six of 19 from 3-point range for 31.6 percent. They hit 11 of 22 free throws for 50 percent. Moen led UND with 17 points and also grabbed five rebounds. Arndtson had 9 points and nine rebounds while Jones had 7 points, five rebounds and six assists.

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