Koupal leads South Dakota past NDSU Senior All-American Mandy Koupal broke the North Central Conference record for rebounds and had her sixth straight double double to lead No. 17 South Dakota (22-5, 7-4 NCC) to a 71-68 win over No. 8 North Dakota State on Friday night at the DakotaDome.
It was the fourth straight win at the DakotaDome for the Coyotes, which swept the Bison in the regular season series. USD won, 71-69, at Fargo earlier this year.
On this night, Koupal showed why she was the Division II Bulletin's Preseason Player of the Year. Koupal had 33 points and 18 rebounds to lead USD to the win. With 18 rebounds, Koupal passed Jenny Crouse of North Dakota as the all-time rebound leader in the NCC. Koupal now has 668 rebounds in NCC play, passing Crouse who had 663.
Koupal made 11-of-16 field goals, including 1-of-2 from three point range. She hit 10-of-13 free throws. She also had two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
USD had three players in double figures as sophomore guard Meghan Woster (Sioux Falls) had 14 points, five assists and four rebounds. Redshirt freshman reserve forward Vanessa Yanez (Wagner) had 12 points and seven rebounds.
South Dakota jumped to a to a 17-12 lead at the 9:57 mark after Jenni Flynn (South Sioux City, NE), who had two early three-point field goals, converted a pair of free throws.
The Coyotes extended the lead to 30-21 with 4:02 mark when Woster hit a pair of free throws. A jumper by Erin Bourne (Sauk Rapids, MN) gave USD a 34-25 lead at the 2:21 mark. A three-pointer by Katie Lorenz with six seconds left pulled NDSU within 34-28 at halftime.
After scoring just eight points and eight rebounds in the opening half, Koupal took over in the second half. She scored 19 of USD's first 23 points in the second half as the Coyotes opened up a a 57-42 lead at the 12:03 mark after a basket by Koupal.
However, NDSU fought back behind the play of Lorenz, who had 25 points on the night. Two foul shots by Lorenz pulled the Bison within 62-55 at the 8:23 mark. A lay-up by NDSU's Leah Klabo pulled NDSU within 62-57 with 6:09 to play.
USD answered with a 4-1 run to move the lead back to 66-58 on two free throws by Woster at the 2:07 mark. Koupal grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 42 seconds left to give USD a 70-62 lead. That is when NDSU applied tough defense and drew within 71-68 when Lorenz made two of three foul shots after being fouled by Flynn with six seconds to play. NDSU's Katie Dahlin stole the ball but the Bison turned the ball over as USD held on for the win.
Overall, the Coyotes made 23-of-49 field goals for 46.9 percent, including six-of-16 three point field goals for 37.5 percent. The Coyotes made 19-of-28 free throws for 67.9 percent.
NDSU hit 23-of-69 field goals for 33.3 percent, but made just 4-of-22 three-point field goals for 18.2 percent. The Bison made 18-of-20 free throws for 90 percent. Aside from Lorenz, guard Angie Froehlich hit double figures with 17 points.
The Bison won the battle of the boards, 42-37.