USD women win 88-54 over Augustana in first round of finals

USD women win 88-54 over Augustana in first round of finals Junior All-American Mandy Koupal had 33 points and 11 rebounds to lead the No. 7 South Dakota Coyotes to their 10th straight win with a 88-54 win over Augustana in the first round of the Wells Fargo Finals before 1,022 at the DakotaDome on March 4.

South Dakota (25-3) evened their Wells Fargo Finals record at 2-2. The Coyotes will now play No. 8 North Dakota (23-5), which took a 76-57 win over Northern Colorado on Tuesday in Grand Forks, ND. USD and UND will play at 6 p.m. on Friday night in Brookings. The other semifinal matchup will feature No. 12 NDSU (25-5) and No. 4 South Dakota State (25-2). The winners play at 8 p.m. on Saturday night in Brookings.

Koupal hit 13-of-20 field goals, 2-of-2 from 3-point range and 5-of-7 from the free throw line as she had her seventh 30-plus scoring effort of her career and fourth this year. She recorded her 18th double double and 33rd of her career.

Senior forward Julia Frie added 20 points and seven rebounds to go with four assists. Reserve forward Jodi Schroeder had a career-high 14 points and also had five rebounds.

Overall, the Coyotes hit 32-of-60 field goals for 53.3 percent, including 8-of-16 from 3-point range. The Coyotes made 16-of-20 free throws for 80 percent.

Once again, South Dakota turned in a solid defensive effort, holding Augustana to 54 points. South Dakota forced the Vikings into 17 turnovers while committing just eight themselves.

USD jumped on Augustana early and led 11-2 at the 16:50 mark of the first half. After Augustana closed to 11 to 6, the Coyotes ended the half on a 28 to 14 run to grab a 39-20 lead at the break.

Interestingly, it was a Koupal and Frie show for much of the first half. They were the only Coyotes to score until less than two minutes remained in the half. Frie had 11 points, three rebounds and one block, assist and steal. Later, Schroeder and Dawn Sudbeck had baskets for the Coyotes, which shot 12-of-30 from the field for 40 percent in the first half.

USD hit 13-of-16 free throws for 81.3 percent. USD was just 2-of-8 from 3-point range. Augustana hit 10-of-30 field goals for 33.3 percent, but were 0-of-5 from 3-point range. Charissa Shephard, Katie Krauth and Joanna Nauman had 4 points each for Augustana.

The second half was much like the opening 20 minutes. A 3-pointer by Heather Nelson gave USD a 56-27 lead at the 14:15 mark of the second half. Two free throws and a jumper by Frie increased the Coyotes' lead to 73-36 at the 8:32 mark. Stacy Schooley scored on a lay-up at the 2:26 mark for a 83-49 lead.

Overall, Augustana hit 22-of-61 field goals for 36.1 percent, including 4-of-13 from 3-point range. The Vikings were 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Katie Krauth led Augustana with 12 points while Joanna Nauman had 8 points and 11 rebounds.

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