Sixth-ranked South Dakota women’s basketball team wins 15th straight game

Sixth-ranked South Dakota women's basketball team wins 15th straight game
The University of South Dakota women's basketball team used a balanced scoring attack to roll to its 15th straight victory with a 78-57 decision over Nebraska-Omaha at the DakotaDome on Thursday, Jan 24.

South Dakota, which is ranked sixth in NCAA Division II, improved to 17-1 on the season and 3-0 for first place in the NCC. UNO fell to 16-3 and 1-2 in league play. USD's 3-0 start in the league is the best since the 2002-03 team opened 6-0. USD's 15 consecutive wins is the longest streak since the 1983-84 team set a school record with 17 straight wins. In addition, USD extended its home winning streak to 12 games, including 9-0 this season. USD's 17-1 mark is the best 18-game total in school history.

Senior guard Jeana Hoffman (Mitchell) paced the Coyotes with 16 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. Hoffman scored in double figures for the 47th time in her career. She also made three or more 3-point baskets for the 11th time this season.

Freshman Amber Hegge (Fr., Crofton, NE) set career highs in blocks (5) and steals (4) while totaling 11 points and four rebounds. Point guard Jenna Hoffman (Sr., Mitchell) had a solid all-around game with 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals in 34 minutes of work. She also hit a pair of three-point baskets for the fourth time this season. Sophomore guard Jasmine Mosley (So., Bellevue, NE) contributed 12 points by making 4-of-5 shots from the field. Bridget Yoerger (Jr., Hinton, IA) added 11 points and seven boards.

Overall, South Dakota hit 45.9 percent from the field (28-61). The Coyotes lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (10.0) and they made 10 in 30 attempts (30 percent) against UNO. It was the eighth time this season that USD has made 10 or more three-pointers. In the last two years, USD is 18-2 when they make at least 10 three-point shots in a game. USD struggled from the free throw line by converting just 12-of-20 shots.

Nebraska-Omaha was led by reserve forward Carla Hargrove who had a career-high 25 points. The Mavericks hit just 37.3 percent from the field on 19-of-51 shooting. UNO was 4-of-12 for 33.3 percent from three-point range and 15-of-21 for 71.4 percent from the free throw line.

A key factor in the game was the Coyote defense which forced UNO into 21 turnovers. USD also tied a season-high with seven blocked shots while recording 13 steals.

The Coyotes jumped to a quick 11-4 lead on a three-point shot by Jeana Hoffman with 14:38 to play in the opening half. After UNO closed to 18-15 (7:23, first half), the Coyotes had an 11-0 run to move ahead 29-15 with 3:48 to play in the half. South Dakota took a 36-22 lead into the halftime break. USD is 32-0 in the last two seasons when leading at halftime.

USD quickly built the lead to 20 points (44-24) in the second half after Shannon Daly (Sr., Groton) scored on a lay-up with 16:51 left to play in the game. UNO fought back with a 18-6 run to draw within 50-42 with 10:59 left to play. However, the Coyotes quickly asserted control by using a 12-2 run to move ahead 62-44 with 8:52 left in the game. After that, the closest UNO would get was 15 points (65-50) at the 7:06 mark. USD's largest lead of the game was 26 points with 1:51 to go in the contest.

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