South Dakota women defeat Emporia State at UNO Classic

South Dakota women defeat Emporia State at UNO Classic Led by All-American Mandy Koupal, The University of South Dakota women's basketball team (3-0) took a 73-59 nonconference decision over Emporia State (3-1) at the Nebraska-Omaha Classic on Friday at the Sapp Fieldhouse, Omaha, NE.

Koupal, Wagner, who had her second double double in three games with 26 points and 12 rebounds, hit several key free throws down the stretch to hold off Emporia State.

Senior forward Heather Nelson, Yankton, had a solid game, scoring 19 points, including five of eight from the 3-point arc. USD also received 13 points and four rebounds from senior forward Julia Frie, Byron, MN. Junior point guard Stacy Schooley had nine rebounds, 4 points and five assists.

Overall, the Coyotes hit 27 of 55 field goals for 49.1 percent including eight of 18 from 3 point range (44.4 percent). The Coyotes were 11 of 16 from the foul line for 68.8 percent.

Emporia State was led by Domonique Brown with 11 points while Nicole Patry had 10 points and Aimee Michelson had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Hornets hit 28 of 67 shots for 41.7 percent. They were just two of 13 from 3 point range and one of four from the free throw line.

South Dakota, which never trailed in the game, jumped to a 9-2 lead at the 16:57 mark after Frie hit a 3-point basket. After ESU cut the lead to 18-14 at the 11:43 mark, USD moved ahead 23-16 on a basket by Dawn Sudbeck, Dimock, at the 10:33 mark.

A basket by Patry cut the margin to 29-26 at the 6:41 mark. At that point, USD took off on a 9-0 run as Nelson hit a 3-pointer at the 2:24 for a 38-26 Coyote lead. The Hornets closed the half on a 7-0 run to pull within 38-32 at halftime. In the first half, USD hit 46.5 percent (15-32) of their field goals, including 43 percent (6-14) from the 3-point line. Nelson led USD with 14 points, including four of six 3-point baskets. Emporia State hit 42 percent of their field goals and one of eight from the 3-point arc in the first 20 minutes.

The Coyotes regained control of the game early in the second half as Koupal hit a pair of baskets for a 48-34 lead at the 15:29 mark. A 3-pointer by freshman Renae Luecke, Sioux Falls, helped South Dakota build a 55-38 lead with 11:53 to play.

Like the first half, Emporia State made a run at the Coyotes. They cut the lead to 59-51 with 5:20 to play on a basket by Brown. At the 3:08 mark, the Hornets pulled within 61-55 when Brown scored. However, Koupal scored at the 2:29 mark for a 63-55 lead. Then, she hit two free throws at the 1:17 mark to build the Coyotes' lead to 67-59. Schooley made four free throws in the final minute and Koupal added two more (:15) to close out the win.

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