South Dakota women's basketball team opens with win Junior point guard Meghan Woster scored 20 points, and had eight assists, five blocked shots and five rebounds to lead the South Dakota women's basketball team (1-0) to a 87-68 win over Mesa State (1-3) in nonconference action in Denver, CO, on Monday night.
In the Coyotes' season opener, Woster (Sioux Falls) was one of three Coyotes to score at least 20 points. Woster made 8-of-13 field goals, including both of her 3-point field goals. Sophomore forward Vanessa Yanez (Wagner) had a game-high 23 points and six rebounds. Yanez hit 10-of-15 field goals, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Sophomore guard Jenni Flynn (South Sioux City, NE) also contributed 20 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. Flynn made 5-of-7 field goals, including three-of-four from 3-point range. In addition, freshman Ashley Robinette (South Sioux City, IA) added 9 points and three rebounds while Brittany Bessert (Fort Collins, CO) had 7 points, four assists and three rebounds.
South Dakota, ranked No. 13 in a NCAA Division II preseason poll by the Women's Division II Bulletin, made 30-of-55 field goals for 53 percent, including a torrid 11-of-15 from 3-point range. USD also made 16-of-21 free throws for 76.2 percent. Mesa State hit 28-of-59 field goals for 47 percent, including 6-of-15 from 3-point range and 6-of-7 from the foul line.
The Coyotes used strong perimeter shooting mixed with solid inside play to grab a 46-31 halftime lead. Early on Mesa State led 9-5 before the Coyotes began dialing long distance, making 8-of-11 3-point field goals in the first half.
A free throw by Erica Schroeder (Miller), helped the Coyotes conclude a 10-0 run to gain a 15-9 advantage over the home-standing Mavericks at the 12:27 mark of the first half. A rebound basket by Woster increased the USD advantage to 21-11 before Yanez connected on a 3-pointer with about eight minutes to play in the half as USD opened up a 26-15 lead. At the 7:35 mark, Brittany Bessert, a junior college transfer from Western Nebraska JC, sank a 3-pointer to move the USD lead to 31-15. Yanez, who had 15 first half points, sank a 3-pointer at the 4:10 mark as USD led 36-23.
Mesa State rallied and pulled within 38-27 at the 2:35 mark. USD responded with a basket by Flynn and another basket by Yanez at the 1:47 mark for a 40-27 lead. After a Mesa State basket, 3-pointers by freshman Robinette and Woster in the final minute of the first half provided the Coyotes with a 46-29 lead.
In the second half, Mesa State opened with a 10-2 run to cut the USD to 48-41. The Coyotes responded with a pair of baskets by Woster to build the lead back to 52-41 with 15:12 left in the game.
Two free throws by Bessert built the lead to 59-45 with 12:20 to play. After Woster blocked a shot, Flynn scored on a driving lay-up. Just a couple of possessions later, Flynn again came up big for the Coyotes, hitting three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point field goal attempt. The free throws by Flynn provided USD with a 66-51 lead. Later, Bessert hit a pair of free throws for a 68-51 lead.
At the 6:45 mark, Flynn continued her strong shooting game with a 3-pointer for a 73-56 lead. Yanez then scored inside for a 75-56 lead, which was USD's largest lead of the game. MSU scored the next 4 points to cut the lead to 75-60 at the 5:02 mark.
After Mesa State cut the lead to 77-64, Kayla Jacobs (Watertown) hit a 3-pointer with 1:52 to play as USD increased its lead to 82-66.
Mesa State was led by Lori Eddy with 16 points and six rebounds and Megan Langstaff with 16 points.