Turnovers and rebounding plague Coyotes The 10th-ranked South Dakota women's basketball team (15-4, 0-3) dropped an 89-66 decision to third-ranked North Dakota (15-1, 3-0) Friday night in front of 3,718 fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND.
Turnovers and rebounding plagued the Coyotes, as USD gave up 18 turnovers and allowed 19 offensive rebounds to North Dakota. South Dakota had just 20 total rebounds to UND's 45.
USD was led offensively by senior All-American Mandy Koupal, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
South Dakota got off to a slow start over the first four and a half minutes of the game, falling behind 13-0, before a Kayla Jacobs 3-pointer got the Coyotes on the board at the 15:17 mark. North Dakota pushed its lead to as many as 24 points in the opening 20 minutes of action, taking a 52-32 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Coyotes actually out-shot UND in the first half, knocking down 58.3 percent of their shots from the field (14-of-24), compared to a 56.8 percent
clip for North Dakota (21-of-37).
The demise of USD in the opening 20 minutes, as it was for the entire game, was turnovers. The Coyotes turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, which is their season average for a full game. North Dakota also pulled down nine offensive boards in the first half, compared to just eight total boards for South Dakota.
USD opened the second half on a 9-2 run, pulling to within 13 points at 54-41 with 17:28 to go. But 13 points was as close as the Coyotes would get, as South Dakota dropped to 0-3 in the NCC for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
Both teams shot 50 percent from the field for the game, with UND hitting 37-of-74 shots, compared to a 26-of-52 performance for South Dakota.
North Dakota was led individually by Marisa Leighton and Kristi Boese, who both recorded double doubles. Leighton had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Boese recorded 16 points and 10 boards.
Freshman Jenni Flynn came off the bench for USD to score 9 points. Senior guard Stacy Schooley added 8 points, five rebounds and four assists.