South Dakota women win NCC home opener

South Dakota women win NCC home opener South Dakota senior guard Stacy Schooley aims and fires during Friday's basketball action against Minnesota State in the DakotaDome. Schooley scored a season-high 15 points and had nine assists. All-American Mandy Koupal led five players in double figures as No. 12 South Dakota (17-4, 2-3 NCC) turned back Minnesota State (6-12, 0-5 NCC), 84-47, on Friday night at the DakotaDome.

After a four-game road swing, the Coyotes returned to the Dome in fashion. The Coyotes, which won their second straight NCC game, had a season-best night, making 57.1 percent (32-of-56) from the field. The Coyotes hit 13-of-25 3-pointers for 52 percent. Overall, USD made 7-of-11 free throws.

Koupal (Wagner), who played just 26 minutes, hit 7-of-14 field goals and was one of seven Coyotes which hit at least one 3-point basket. Senior guard Stacy Schooley (Watertown) had a season-high 15 points and tied a career-high with nine assists. Also hitting double figures were Erin Bourne (Sauk Rapids, MN), Meghan Woster (Sioux Falls) and Jenni Flynn (South Sioux City, NE), who all had 11 points. Borne was 3-of-3 from 3-point range and Flynn hit 3-of-4 from downtown. Flynn and Koupal led USD with eight rebounds.

South Dakota won its 18th straight home game and its eighth straight in 2003-04.

The game was decided on the Coyotes' hot shooting in the first half. Aside from making 9-of-14 3-point field goals (64.3 percent), USD also hit 60.7 percent from the field (17-of-28). After jumping to a 12-4 lead on a Koupal basket, USD took off on a 24-2 run to gain a 36-8 advantage with 6:25 to play in the first half. After Stacy Schooley and Erin Bourne hit consecutive 3-point baskets, USD took a 48-16 lead into the halftime break.

While the Coyotes were red hot, MSU suffered through a horrible shooting first half. The Mavericks hit just 7-of-30 field goals for 23.3 percent and did not make a 3-point basket.

MSU came out on fire in the second half by making its first three, 3-point field goals to cut the deficit to 50-25 at the 17:44 mark. MSU actually made 4-of-5 3-point field goals to open the half but USD continued to score inside and outside and a 3-pointer by Flynn gave USD a 67-32 lead with 12:14 to play. The Coyotes opened up a 79-37 advantage when Flynn hit a jumper with 5:07 on the clock. USD's largest lead was 44 points with 2:24 to play after Jodi Schroeder (Tulare), who scored 8 points, scored inside.

MSU was led by Arin Andrews, who had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Mavericks hit 35.8 percent (19-of-53) from the field and 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from 3-point range. They made 50 percent (4-of-8) from the charity stripe.

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