Iverson leads USD women to win

Iverson leads USD women to win Led by Amanda Iverson's career-high 21 points, the South Dakota Coyotes women's basketball team (11-5, 5-3 in the NCC) jumped to an 18-point halftime lead and cruised to a 76-55 win over No. 13 ranked North Dakota State in North Central Conference action on Jan. 12 at the DakotaDome.

The Coyotes won their third straight game, including the past two over nationally ranked opponents. The victory enabled South Dakota to pull within a half-game of first place in a bunched up NCC race. Entering the weekend, the Coyotes were sitting in seventh place.

South Dakota has now won eight of their last nine games and they are one of the hottest

teams in the NCC.

South Dakota defeated No. 2 ranked North Dakota, 89-77 Jan. 11 as Mandy Koupal had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Saturday, Koupal had 21 points and tied a career high with 15 rebounds, although she had an off-shooting night.

Against NDSU, the Coyotes again exhibited outstanding defense and received offensive contributions from several players.

On this evening, Iverson and Heather Nelson stepped up to help Koupal take care of the offensive chores. Iverson, a Vermillion native, had 21 points as she made seven of nine field goals and seven of nine free throws while grabbing four rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Nelson, who did not miss a shot in the first half in scoring 15 points, tallied 17 points on the evening. She was six of nine from the field, two of two from three-point range and three of three from the free throw line. Nelson also had three steals.

Koupal, who was just six of 22 from the field, made two of three three-point field goals and seven of 12 free throws. Overall, the Coyotes made 25 of 61 field goals for 41 percent and they hit eight of 18 three-point field goals for 44.4 percent. South Dakota was 18 of 26 from the free throw line for 69.2 percent.

NDSU hit 19 of 54 field goals for 35.2 percent, although they greatly improved their shooting in the second half, converting 13 of 24 field goals for 54.2 percent.

On the night, they were able to hit just three of 12 three-point field goals. The Bison made 14 of 20 free throws for 70 percent. Overall, South Dakota held a 42-36 rebound advantage.

The Coyotes will travel to Morningside Saturday for a 6 p.m. game with the Mustangs at Allee Gym in Sioux City, IA.

The South Dakota men's basketball team (12-3, 4-3 in the NCC), paced by 27 points from freshman guard Josh Mueller, turned back North Dakota (9-5, 4-2 in the NCC) in North Central Conference basketball on Friday night at the DakotaDome.

Mueller hit seven of 21 field goals, including five three-pointers and eight of 10 free throws to go with six rebounds, six assists and seven steals. Senior forward Jimmie Foster added 16 points and eight rebounds while sophomore forward Steve Anderson had 10 points and five rebounds. Foster hit seven of 14 field goals and Anderson was five of six from the field.

In moving their conference mark to 4-3, the Coyotes have now won eight of nine games at home this season and they are 2-1 at home in conference games. South Dakota has now won two of three games and increased their winning streak against North Dakota to six games.

After trading baskets early, the Coyotes opened up a 13-4 lead after Foster hit a three-point basket at the 14:53 mark of the first half. A jumper by senior guard Paul Marshall pushed the Coyotes' lead to 15-4 at the 14:24 mark. Two free throws by Mueller upped the margin to 19-6 at the 12:51 mark.

The Fighting Sioux shot their way back into the game. They outscored South Dakota, 16-4 to cut the lead to 26-24 at the 2:58 mark as junior center Jerome Beasley hit a jumper. The Coyotes answered with a three-pointer by senior forward Scott Hansen for a 29-24 lead with 2:36 to play.

Still, the Fighting Sioux kept charging and cut the lead to 31-28 on a jumper by Jeff Brandt at the 1:44 mark. On their next possession, Brandt struck again, this time from three-point range to tie the game, 31-31, with 1:07 to play in the half. Then, Anderson scored inside the give the Coyotes a 33-31 lead.

The second half belonged to Mueller, who scored 23 of his 27 points after the break. Gradually, the Coyotes built a second half lead. The Coyotes, led by Mueller, took off on a 22-2 run to grab a commanding lead, 71-48 with 6:31 to play. Mueller scored 11 points, including three three-point baskets and a lay-up, while senior forward Eric Hickenbottom had five points during the run. North Dakota cut the lead to 73-60 with 2:09 to play but that was as close as they would get in the second half.

Overall, the Coyotes made 29 of 65 field goals for 44.6 percent, including nine of 25 three-point baskets for 36 percent. They were 11 of 18 from the free throw line. Marshall added seven points and seven rebounds while Hickenbottom had seven points, three rebounds and two steals for South Dakota, which recorded 13 steals on the night. Hansen added six points and seven rebounds. South Dakota freshman center J.D. Roberts had six rebounds.

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