USD women suffer tough 61-58 loss to Jackrabbits

USD women suffer tough 61-58 loss to Jackrabbits South Dakota's Jenni Flynn (23) avoids SDSU's Heather Sieler while waiting for a play to develop under the basket Saturday in the DakotaDome. Flynn scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds, but the Coyotes' efforts fell just short securing a victory over the Jackrabbits. Despite a record-breaking night by senior Mandy Koupal, The No. 15 South Dakota Coyotes (24-6, 9-5 NCC) dropped a tough 61-58 decision to ninth-ranked South Dakota State (22-5, 11-3 NCC) in North Central Conference action on Saturday night before 7,882 at the DakotaDome.

Koupal again showed why she is a consensus All-American. Koupal hit 10-of-21 field goals for 26 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds.

She also had five steals and two assists. It was Koupal's 20th double double of the season and her 55th as a Coyote. With her point total, Koupal established a new NCC record for career points with 1,352. She passed former North Dakota standout Jenny Crouse, who had 1,342 from 1996-99. Koupal now holds both the NCC record for rebounds in a career with 686 and the points mark.

Also reaching double figures for USD was redshirt freshman Vanessa Yanez, who had 11 points and four rebounds.

Neither team shot the ball very well with USD making 38.2 percent (21-of-55) while SDSU made 41.5 percent (22-of-53).

Both teams' three-point shooting was off the mark. The Coyotes made just 5-of-16 for 31.3 percent while SDSU hit 4-of-25 for 16 percent.

The Coyotes were 11-of-18 for 61.1 percent from the foul line while the Jacks hit 13-of-20 for 65 percent.

The loss snapped an eight-game USD winning streak as SDSU won both regular season games.

In a game that went back and forth, Koupal's jumper gave USD an 8-6 lead at the 16:20 mark of the first half

However, SDSU responded with a 8-0 run over the next six minutes for a 14-8 lead with 10:20 to play.

The Coyotes' next basket was a jumper by Koupal at the 7:02 mark to draw USD within 14-11. A lay-up by SDSU's Shannon Schlagel gave the Jacks a 22-16 lead with 5:06 to play. USD responded with a 7-0 run, capped by Yanez's three-pointer at the 3:01 mark for a 23-22 South Dakota advantage. After SDSU moved the lead to 30-25, Kayla Jacobs (Watertown) scored with six seconds left as SDSU led, 30-27, at the break.

A jumper by Meghan Woster (Sioux Falls) gave the Coyotes a 38-34 lead at the 16:56 mark of the second half. SDSU responded by a 5-0 run to take a 39-38 lead on a three-pointer by Schlagel at the 16:04 mark.

A jumper by Koupal at the 13:42 mark swung the lead back to USD at 42-41. SDSU responded with an 8-4 run for a 49-46 lead at 9:55 mark.

USD answered when Koupal hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 49 with 7:23 to play.

SDSU's Brenda Davis scored on a lay-up for a 56-51 lead with 4:37 to play. Koupal again scored as USD pulled within 56-55 with 2:07 to play. However SDSU freshman Megan Vogel, who had 17 points, scored at the 1:02 mark as SDSU led, 58-55.

After USD missed on its next offensive possession, Heather Sieler hit a pair of free throws for a seemingly comfortable 60-55 SDSU advantage.

Koupal answered with a three-pointer with 12 seconds to play. After Sieler made 1-of-2 free throws, USD had an opportunity to tie but Erin Bourne's (Sauk Rapids, MN) 3-pointer was off the mark and SDSU hung on for the win.

Flynn added six points and seven rebounds for USD while Jacobs had seven points.

Also scoring in double figures for SDSU was Schlagel with 14 points. SDSU won the rebound battle, 42-33.

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