USD women win second contest 61-54

USD women win second contest 61-54 The South Dakota women's basketball team improved their record to 3-2 with a 61-54 nonconference win over Western State (3-4) in the second round of the Sioux Valley/Wells Fargo Basketball Classic in Sioux Falls on Dec.1.

In a game of fumbled or mishandled balls, turnovers and poor shooting, the Coyotes won their third game of the season and their second in a row.

South Dakota, which nearly blew a 20-point second half lead, received 22 points from sophomore forward Mandy Koupal and a season high of 16 points from junior forward Amanda Iverson. Koupal hit six of six free throws to extend her consecutive free throw made streak to 23 on the season.

Early on, Western State took a 4-0 lead when Jamie Mayne scored. Despite numerous easy chances at the basket, the Coyotes did not break into the scoring margin until the 15:44 mark on an inside basket by Iverson. Iverson tied the game when she hit a hook shot.

After Western State took back a 6-4 lead, Koupal scored her first points on an inside basket off an assist from Erin Case.

Junior forward Julia Frie stole the ball and was fouled. She then hit both free throws for a 10-8 South Dakota lead and the start of a 6-0 run by the Coyotes. After a Western State basket, Frie hit a 3-pointer for a 15-10 lead.

Then Koupal and Iverson both knocked down jumpers as the Coyotes led 19-10. Frie scored again a few seconds later and USD had its largest lead of the half, 21-10.

South Dakota went on a scoring drought of more than five minutes until Iverson scored inside to give USD a 23-14 lead. Still, Western State stayed with the Coyotes. The Mountaineers' Danyelle Graziano scored to cut the lead to 23-16. Koupal answered with a basket for a 27-16 Coyote lead.

Then Iverson culminated a strong first half by hitting a jumper with five seconds left to give USD a 29-19 halftime advantage.

South Dakota extended their halftime lead to 12 points when Koupal hit a pair of free throws. Shortly thereafter, Stacey Schooley hit a jumper for a 33-19 lead. A great pass by junior forward Heather Nelson to Koupal for an inside basket increased the Coyote lead to 35-19.

Nelson finally broke into the score book by knocking down a jumper from the left side of the lane. The shot increased the Coyotes' lead to 37-19. Western State broke a 9-0 run when Coleman scored inside.

Iverson came back for the Coyotes by grabbing a missed shot and putting it back in for a 40-21 South Dakota lead. Then South Dakota freshman guard Erin Case hit Koupal with a nice inside as Koupal gave USD a 42-23 lead.

From that point on, the game turned Western State's way. Coleman, who scored a game-high 24 points including 18 second half points, started the Mountaineer's comeback with a jumper to cut the lead to 42-27. Then a free throw by Mayne and a steal and basket by Sutherland cut the lead to 42-30. Mayne scored twice to trim USD's lead to 42-32.

Koupal broke the run with an inside basket for a 44-34 lead. Then Kansteiner scored inside. Her free throw cut the lead to 7 points at 44-37. Cellan hit a free throw to draw Western State. A free throw by Sutherland and an inside basket by Coleman cut the lead to 44-41.

Coleman hit a jumper to cut the Coyote lead to 1 point, 44-43. Krista Orsack hit a pair of free throws for a 46-43 lead. Orsack hit a 3-pointer for a 49-43 lead. Coleman answered that basket by hitting a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 49-45.

Iverson answered with a pair of free throws and a 51-45 lead. Koupal scored inside for a 53-45 lead. Then Sutherland hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 53-48. A 3-pointer by Coleman cut USD's lead to 53-51. After a missed basket by the Coyotes, Schooley stole the ball and hit a wide-open Alissa Koronkiewicz under the basket who missed the shot but was fouled. With 1:12 to play, Koronkiewicz hit both free throws for a 55-51 lead.

Then after a turnover by Western State with 1:04 to play, Iverson hit a pair of free throws for a 57-51 lead. Koupal hit two more charity tosses for a 59-51 lead with :36 seconds left in the game.

Western State was not done as Coleman hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 59-54. When Orsack hit two free throws with 16 seconds left for a 61-54 lead, the Coyotes had their third win of the season.

The Coyotes hit just 19 of 60 shots for 31.7 percent, including a porous two of 12 from the 3-point line for 16.7 percent. The Coyotes shot the ball extremely well from the free throw line, hitting 21 of 23 shots for 91.3 percent. Orsack and Frie both scored 7 points.

Meanwhile Western State hit 22 of 49 field goals for 44.9 percent but were just three of 13 from the free throw line. They made seven of 11 free throws for 66.7 percent. Aside from Coleman, Sutherland had 11 points and six assists.

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