Coyotes break long losing streak at Bison Sports Arena Led by 26 points and 13 rebounds from Mandy Koupal, the South Dakota women's basketball team (15-7, 9-5 in the NCC) turned back North Dakota State (14-7, 7-6 in the NCC), 66-64, at the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo, N.D., before 3,176 in attendance Feb. 8.
In a back and forth game, South Dakota received a free throw from Krista Orsack with eight seconds left and hung on for the win as NDSU forward Amanda Gehrke's three-point attempt was off the mark in the closing seconds.
With the win, South Dakota ended a long losing streak to the Bison in Fargo.
The Coyotes had not won in Fargo since the 1983-84 season. USD also ended a 17-game home-winning streak by NDSU. The win gave the Coyotes control of third place in the NCC behind North Dakota and South Dakota State.
Koupal, who battled the flu all week, hit 10 of 17 fields, including a clutch three-pointer with 5:29 to play in the game that drew the Coyotes within 58-57. South Dakota, who trailed by nine (44-35) early in the second half, gained the lead for the first time since their opening possession when Heather Nelson scored inside off a feed from Stacy Schooley at the 3:53 mark.
Then after both teams traded turnovers on consecutive possessions, the Coyotes gained a 61-58 on a lay-up by Nelson with 1:42 to play. Beth Bue, who had three three-point field goals and a team-high 17 points, tied the game with a deep three-pointer with 1:20 to play.
Koupal followed that shot by making two free throws and then hitting a jumper inside for a 65-61 lead. That set the stage for the tense ending when Orsack, who had 10 points, made a free throw and the Bison could not score in the final seconds.
South Dakota hit 24 of 55 field goals for 43.6 percent, including three of 11 from three-point range. The Coyotes were 15 of 19 from the free throw line. Nelson had 11 points, as did Amanda Iversen of Vermillion.
USD won the rebound battle, 40-38. NDSU hit 22 of 63 field goals for 34.9 percent, including seven of 18 from the three-point arc, and 13 of 21 free throws for 61.9 percent. NDSU also received 10 points from Amanda Gehrke and nine from Donni Luecke.