S.D. women defeat North Dakota 89-86

S.D. women defeat North Dakota 89-86 The 14th-ranked South Dakota women's basketball team (21-3, 11-2) used a 16-2 run late in the game to snap fifth-ranked North Dakota's 44-game winning streak at Hyslop Arena with an 89-86 victory Feb. 20 in Grand Forks, ND.

With its sixth consecutive win, USD moves into a first place tie with South Dakota State in the North Central Conference. Senior Heather Nelson tied a career-high with 28 points to lead the way for the Coyotes. For the second straight game, USD defeated a top-five opponent by rallying in the final five minutes. On Saturday, they trailed South Dakota State by 6 with about five minutes to play before rallying for an 87-83 win over the No. 2 Jacks. USD had a come-from-behind win Feb. 20 over No. 5 UND.

South Dakota twice trailed by 8 in the first half, but took a 45-43 lead into the locker room at halftime after Nelson drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close out the half for the second consecutive game.

In the second half, UND slowly pulled ahead, eventually seizing an 11-point lead with just 4:52 left to play in the game. The Coyotes scored 10 points in a row over the next 1:47 to pull within one at 84-83, before junior All-American Mandy Koupal drained a 3 for the Coyotes, putting USD up 86-84 with 2:24 to play.

UND's Marisa Leighton tied the game back up with a jumper with 2:08 on the clock at 86-86. Both teams squandered a pair of opportunities on their respective ends of the floor over the next minute and a half.

Koupal put the Coyotes up for good at 88-86 with a jumper with just 28 seconds left to play. North Dakota again couldn't convert on its end of the floor, as both Becky Moen and Jenny Boll missed shots in the final seconds, before Nelson grabbed her fifth rebound of the night.

The Yankton native closed out the scoring by hitting 1-of-2 free throws with a second to go.

Koupal, of Wagner, had 19 points, while senior Julia Frie, Byron, MN, added 16 points. Freshman guard Renae Luecke, Sioux Falls, tallied 10 points off the bench.

Guard Becky Moen led North Dakota in scoring with 24 points.

For the game, USD shot 52.4 percent from the field (33-of-63), while North Dakota hit on 54.1 percent of its shots from the floor (33-of-61). The Coyotes posted their second-best 3-point shooting percentage by connecting on 12-of-20 attempts from behind the arc for 60.0 percent. North Dakota won the battle of the boards, 38-25.

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