USD women rally; score 61-60 victory South Dakota's Jenni Flynn (center) battles with two Wayne State defenders for a rebound during first half action in the DakotaDome Dec. 4. Flynn scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help her team achieve a come-from-behind win. The 18th-ranked South Dakota women's basketball team won its fourth straight game with a come-from-behind 61-60 nonconference decision over Wayne State (4-2) in the first round of the South Dakota Classic being held at the DakotaDome on Friday, Dec. 4.
Led by 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists from junior guard Meghan Woster of Sioux Falls, the Coyotes rallied to win after trailing 33-21 at halftime. In all, four Coyotes scored in double figures.
Brittany Bessert, a junior from Fort Collins, CO, and freshman Ashley Robinette of South Sioux City, IA, had 11 points while Jenni Flynn, a sophomore from South Sioux City, IA, contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Wayne State was led by Lauren Gustafson and Kristen Humphries, who both had 15 points.
Overall, South Dakota hit 20-of-47 field goals for 42.6 percent. USD substantially improved its shooting in the second half. After making just 7-of-24 field goals (29.2 percent) in the opening half of play, the Coyotes hit 13-of-23 field goals for 56.5 percent in the second half.
After a 3-of-12 first half three-point shooting performance, USD finished at 33 percent on 6-of-18 shooting from beyond the arc. The Coyotes also made 15-of-24 free throws, although USD made just 4-of-11 in the opening half.
Wayne State was 24-of-56 on the night, hitting 42.9 percent from the field. The Wildcats made 3-of-11 three-point shots for 27.3 percent and also converted 9-of-17 free throws for 52.9 percent.
Wayne State jumped to an early 7-2 lead (16:31) as South Dakota managed to score just two points during the first 6:23 of the game. With 12:14 to play in the first half, a three-pointer by Bessert drew USD within 9-7.
The Wildcats responded with a 11-3 run to take a 20-10 lead at the 7:54 mark after a jumper by Erin McCormick. Two free throws by Robinette cut the Wayne State lead to 24-18 with 6:18 to play in the half.
The rest of the half belonged to Wayne State, who put together a 9-3 run and grabbed a 33-21 advantage at the break.
Wayne State pushed the advantage to 35-21 on a lay-up by Humphries at the 19:49 mark of the second half. However, USD responded with a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to 39-35 at the 15:27 mark.
The teams traded baskets for next 10 minutes until a lay-up by Woster tied the game at 52-52 with 5:30 to play in the game. Two free throws by Bessert provided USD with its first lead of the game at the 4:43 mark.
Woster gave USD a 56-54 lead on a jumper at the 4:05 mark and a lay-up by Flynn at the 2:01 mark gave USD a 58-55 lead. A free throws by Robinette increased USD's advantage to 59-55 with 1:12 left in the game.
After McCormick scored on a jumper with 1:01 left (59-57), Flynn clinched the game with a pair of free throws with three seconds left in the game. The Wildcats' Gustafson hit a three-pointer with one second left to cut the USD lead to 61-60.