USD women drop NCC opener to Augustana

USD women drop NCC opener to Augustana
The South Dakota women's basketball team (12-4, 0-1 NCC) suffered a 68-54 setback in its North Central Conference opener to the Augustana Vikings (13-4, 2-0 NCC) in front of 3,006 at the Sioux Falls Arena on Jan. 7.

The Coyotes shot better than the Vikings from both the field and three-point range, but turned the ball over 25 times that resulted in 30 Augustana points. The Vikings also had 14 offensive rebounds led to 10 points, while USD managed just six points off turnovers and had no second-chance points.

The first half was tightly contested with the Coyotes taking an early 4-0 lead on a lay-up and a pair of free throws by freshman Bridget Yoerger (Hinton, IA). South Dakota then built an 11-5 lead on a bucket in the paint by Yoerger at 14:42.

However, the Vikings went on a 7-0 run to take its first lead, 12-11 at 12:05 on a put back by Whitney Hofer. South Dakota's Erica Schroeder (Miller) ended the Augustana run with a three-pointer to give USD a 14-11 lead on the ensuing possession.

Each team held extended leads for the remainder of the first half. The Coyotes scored its last basket of the first half at 2:33 on a runner in the paint by senior Meghan Woster (Sioux Falls) to give USD a 30-24 lead. Augustana scored the last four points to cut the Coyote lead to 30-28 at halftime.

USD shot 44 percent (11-of-25) in the first half and held Augustana to just 28.1 percent (9-of-32) from the field, including just 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) from three-point range. Conversely, the Coyotes were 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) beyond the three-point arc. While the Vikings were perfect at the foul line in the first half (9-of-9), South Dakota was 4-of-8 for 50 percent.

In the second half, Augustana started with five quick points to take a 33-30 lead on a three of Jessica Klein's game-high 24 points at 18:44. The Coyote's Vanessa Yanez (Wagner) hit a three of her own to tie the game on the next possession.

After Yoerger scored another two of her team-high 22 points, the Vikings began to build its lead to eight on three different occasions. USD was able to cut the lead to five on a free throw by Woster at 5:18, which made the score 57-52 in favor of Augustana.

The Vikings, who received a game-high 10 rebounds by forward Ashley Holiday, proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to the 2:06 mark when Alison Adamson hit a lay-up to up the lead to 14, 66-52. The Coyotes were held to just two points the rest of the way as Holiday knocked down the last points of the game, a pair of free throws with 33 seconds remaining.

For the game, USD shot 40.8 percent (20-of-49) from the field and were 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from three-point range. At the foul line, the Coyotes made 9-of-14 attempts for 64.3 percent.

Augustana shot 35.4 percent (23-of-65) from the field, including 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from downtown. The Vikings, who outrebounded USD, 38-37, missed just one free throw and finished 17-of-18 from the line for 94.4 percent.

USD will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 14, when they host North Dakota at 6 p.m. in the DakotaDome.

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