Top-ranked UND women’s basketball team holds off USD in OT

Top-ranked UND women's basketball team holds off USD in OT
Kierah Kimbrough hit a short jumper with one second to play to lift top-ranked North Dakota (20-1, 3-0 NCC) to an 81-79 overtime win over South Dakota (13-3, 0-2 NCC) in North Central Conference women's basketball action on Saturday night before 2,467 at the DakotaDome.

In this classic, South Dakota rallied several times against UND, but ran out of time in the end. UND, which extended its winning streak to 15 games, received a short jumper by Kierah Kimbrough with one second left to gain the advantage as the clock ran out on USD. For the first time this season, USD lost a game in which they scored at least 70 points.

South Dakota's Shannon Daly (Groton), who had 16 points, three rebounds and a steal, hit a step-back three-point jump shot with five seconds to play in regulation to tie the game at 69-69 and force overtime. In the overtime, USD's Jeana Hoffman (Mitchell) hit a three-point basket with 26 seconds left to tie the game at 79-79. Kimbrough had a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds.

Hoffman led the Coyotes with 20 points and added two assists and two steals in 41 minutes of action. Hoffman made 8-of-12 shots, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Sophomore forward Bridget Yoerger (Hinton, IA) had 17 points, five assists and four rebounds. Also reaching double digits in scoring was reserve forward Natalie Carda (Beresford), who had 16 points, four rebounds and a steal in 17 minutes of play. Jenna Hoffman (Mitchell) had a team-high eight rebounds for USD.

USD hit 28-of-60 field goals for 46.7 percent, including 9-of-25 three-point field goals for 36 percent. USD made 14-of-21 free throws for 66.7 percent.

Aside from Kimbrough, Kayla Bagaason had 11 points and Ashley Langen added 14. Guard Karla Beck had 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals for UND. North Dakota made 31-of-72 field goals for 43.1 percent, including 3-of-13 from three-point range. UND was 16-of-24 from the free-throw line.

UND, which held a slim 34-33 halftime advantage, had a big advantage on the boards with a 54-29 advantage. UND, which had 24 offensive boards, finished with a 41-27 advantage of points in the paint as well as a 22-9 margin in second-chance points.

Daly got things started for the Coyotes by hitting a three-point field goal at the 19:38 mark of the opening half. USD took its last lead of the half at 5-4 on a jumper by Yoerger with 17:25 to play. From there, UND went on a 10-2 run to open up a 14-7 advantage at the 10:50 mark of the first half. The visitors extended the lead to 24-13 at the 7:18 mark after Val Sannes hit a jumper. Later, Carda hit a three-pointer for the Coyotes to cut the margin to 30-23 at the 3:55 mark. USD outscored UND, 13-4 in the final 4:11 to draw with 34-33 at the halftime break. Jeana Hoffman's jumper with 1:06 left pulled USD within one point (34-33).

Both teams traded baskets early in the second half before UND had an eight-point run to grab a 46-37 advantage at the 14:49 mark after Danye Guinn made a pair of free throws. USD again rallied with a 9-2 run to draw within 48-46 after Carda canned a three-point basket. Once again UND forged a lead, going ahead 58-52 at the 8:38 mark on a jumper by Kimbrough. The lead grew to 64-54 when Karla Beck hit a three-point shot for North Dakota.

The Coyotes put a halt on the UND surge with eight straight points as Daly's free throws cut the lead to 66-64 with 1:05 left in the game. Ashley Robinette (South Sioux City, NE) had two free throws to keep the deficit at two points (68-66) with 24 seconds left in the game. Then UND's Carissa Jahner converted 1-of-2 free throws for a 69-66 lead with 21 seconds to play in regulation. South Dakota answered the call when Daly hit a three-point basket with seven seconds to play.

A jumper by Jeana Hoffman at the 4:31 mark of overtime gave USD a 71-69 lead. USD led, 73-71, when Daly scored on a drive to the basket with 3:02 left in overtime. UND made four straight free throws, including two by Guinn with 2:02 left in the game, to grab a 75-73 lead. USD and UND traded baskets before Kimbrough's two free throws with 37 seconds to play provided UND with a 79-76 lead. The Coyotes set up Jeana Hoffman who hit a three-pointer with 26 seconds left in the game. Then Kimbrough came through for UND which improved to 3-0 in the league.

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