Coyote women lose 65-63 to MSU on last-second shot

Coyote women lose 65-63 to MSU on last-second shot
Despite a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds by Ashley Robinette, the South Dakota women's basketball team (13-7, 1-4 NCC) dropped a 65-63 North Central Conference decision to Minnesota State, Mankato (10-11, 1-5 NCC) Jan. 28 before 2,712 at the DakotaDome.

South Dakota had a 63-59 lead with 1:39 to play, but MSU scored the final six points of the game, including the winning shot by Alanna Wahl as time expired.

Robinette, a sophomore from South Sioux City, NE, recorded her second career double double and reached double digits in scoring for the third time in four games.

Against MSU, Robinette made 9-of-16 field goals including 4-of-6 three-point shots and 4-of-5 free throws. Robinette also had three steals and two blocked shots. USD also received 12 points and seven rebounds from junior forward Vanessa Yanez of Wagner. Senior point guard Megan Woster of Sioux Falls, finished with eight points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Overall, South Dakota hit 39.3 percent from the field, making 22-of-56 shots. The Coyotes connected on just 9-of-28 three-point field goals for 32.1 percent and hit 10 of-14 free throws for 71.4 percent. USD won the rebound battle, 41-38.

MSU was led by Joanne Noreen with 17 points while Stacie Johnson added 11 points and Arin Andrews provided 10 points and six rebounds. The Mavericks hit 24-of-64 field goals for 37.5 percent, including 7-of-20 from three-point range. MSU was 10-of-14 from the free throw line for 71.4 percent.

The Coyotes had a quick start as they raced to an 11-2 lead after Robinette scored inside at the 17:32 mark. Later, Yanez hit a three-point field goal for a 14-4 lead with 15:46 to play in the half. The Coyote run was extended to 24-7 at the 11:27 mark after a jumper by Janielle Bryan of Bellevue, NE.

From that point, MSU gradually cut into USD's lead. A three-pointer by Johnson cut the lead to 26-17 at the 8:28 mark of the half. USD regained a nine-point advantage (30-21) with 6:42 left in the half after Ashley Bjorkman of Vermillion, hit a three-pointer.

MSU's Flecia Foster hit a three-pointer at the 2:15 mark to cut USD's lead to 34-33. Then, Robinette hit a three-pointer (1:56) and Bryan scored inside to build the lead back to six points at 39-33 (1:24). MSU's Heather Johnson made a three-pointer with 29 seconds left in the half to bring MSU within three points (39-36).

A three-pointer shot by Bjorkman helped USD to a 44-40 lead at the 16:03 mark of the second. Two fouls shots by Robinette helped USD retain a four-point lead (48-44) with 11:11 left in the game. Then, MSU had a 5-0 run to take a 49-48 lead with 9:29 to play. Robinette immediately answered to give USD a 51-49 advantage at the 8:58 mark.

From that point, the teams traded leads and momentum. Robinette scored inside at the 2:18 mark to give USD a 61-59 lead. Moments later, she connected on a pair of free throws to build the USD advantage to 63-59 with 1:39 to play. MSU answered with a basket by Noreen (1:25) and then a score inside by Andrews (:28) to tie the game at 63-63.

In the closing seconds, the Coyotes' Meghan Woster put up a shot that was offline and after a held ball gave the possession to MSU, Wahl hit her game-winning shot.

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