Coyote women pick up 71-38 win over Upper Iowa

Coyote women pick up 71-38 win over Upper Iowa
The South Dakota women's basketball team (11-3) bounced back from its earlier defeat in Augustana's Sioux Valley Clinic Classic Dec. 29 with a 71-38 win over the Upper Iowa Peacocks (3-10) at the Elmen Center on the Augustana campus.

The first half was a struggle for both teams as the two squads combined for just 13 field goals, including two three-point baskets each. If not for 10-of-10 shooting at the free throw line by the Coyotes, it may have been uglier than the 24-17 halftime advantage for USD.

To start the second half however, South Dakota heated up and began the final stanza on a 15-2 run down to the 14:42, when junior Vanessa Yanez (Wagner) hit a jumper in the paint to increase the lead to 39-19 for the Coyotes.

Upper Iowa cut the lead to 13 in the second half at the 7:29 mark, but a three by senior Brittany Bessert (Fort Collins, CO), who finished with a game-high 13 points, and a jumper by sophomore Ashley Bjorkman (Vermillion) took the lead back up to 18, 55-37, at 6:05.

The lead eventually became 33 points for USD as Bjorkman hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left to run the lead to the final score of 71-38.

For the game, USD shot 37.1 percent (23-of-62) from the field, including 20 percent (4-of-20) from three-point range. It wasn't until midway through the second half that the Coyotes missed a free throw before finishing at 84 percent on 21-of-25 shooting.

In addition to 13 points from Bessert, USD received 12 points from Yanez and 10 from freshman Bridget Yoerger (Hinton, IA). It was the 11th straight game Yoerger has scored in double figures. Junior Erica Schroeder (Miller) recorded a career-high 14 rebounds to tie for the game-high.

Upper Iowa, who was led by 12 points from Christa Hammel and Ashley Martin, shot 24.1 percent (13-of-54) from the field and was 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from three-point range. At the foul line, the Peacocks were 7-of-12 for 58.3 percent.

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