Coyote women finish first year of Division I The University of South Dakota women's basketball team capped off its 2008-09 campaign giving No. 11-ranked North Carolina all it could handle but the Coyotes' upset bid fell short as the Tar Heels prevailed, 75-69, in Chapel Hill, NC. The week before USD earned a 63-50 win over Houston Baptist University in the consolation championship of the Spring Thaw tournament in Grand Forks, ND. USD finished 18-11 under first-year head coach Ryun Williams. The 18 wins were the second most by a first-year head coach. It was a year of change for USD, marked by making the transition to Division I status. The Coyote women earned Division I wins over the University of Northern Iowa (76-67), SIU-Edwardsville (94-61 and 57-52), and Houston Baptist University (62-46 and 63-50) this season. USD then finished off the season putting together a valiant effort against UNC, which is headed to the NCAA tournament. The Coyotes led at halftime and by as many as 15 points early in the second half during that contest. USD had a nine-game winning streak during the season which began on Nov. 16 and lasted through Dec. 13 before South Dakota suffered a loss to Concordia University, St. Paul. LEADING COYOTES Bridget Yoerger led the team in the 2008-09 season averaging 16.7 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. Yoerger shot 49.4 percent from the field and also led the team in steals (55) and blocked shots (37). Ashley Wiemann had a team high 98 three-pointers on the season while shooting 41.9 percent from beyond the arc. She finished the season averaging 11.7 points per game. Jasmine Mosley and Annie Roche were also strong contributors averaging 9.4 and 9.2 ppg. Mosley finished with a team-high 105 assists while Roche had 102 assists. A LOOK AHEAD USD loses five seniors from this year's team. The Coyotes will lose Bridget Yoerger (16.7 points per game), Ashley Wiemann (11.7), Maggie Youngberg (7.6), Natalie Carda (2.7), and Amy Robinette (0.8). Yoerger, Wiemann and Youngberg were all starters for USD. USD will return Annie Roche, Kara Iverson and Jasmine Mosley who were all key contributors this season. The Coyote women will also look for major contributions out of Amber Hegge (redshirt), Teresa Case (transfer), and Jackie Hiebert (transfer) who all sat out this past season. 2008-09 ACCOLADES Bridget Yoerger, a forward on The University of South Dakota women's basketball team, was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America women's basketball third team. It is the first-time Yoerger has been named Academic All-America. It is her second academic honor of the 2008-09 season, as she was named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine All-District VII Team earlier this season. Yoerger has compiled a 3.82 GPA while majoring in recreation management/health promotion and exercise science. She is having an outstanding season on the basketball court as well, leading USD at 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. SPRING THAW ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM Bridget Yoerger was named to the Women's Spring Thaw All-Tournament team in Grand Forks, ND. Yoerger scored 33 points in the Coyotes' two games at tournament. GREAT WEST CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK Bridget Yoerger was named Great West Conference Women's Player of the Week, twice this season. MILESTONES Career Rebounds: Bridget Yoerger finished with 884 career rebounds…which ranked fourth in school history for career rebounds. Career Points: Bridget Yoerger finished with 1,604 career points…which ranked second in school history behind leader Mandy Koupal (2,142). Three-Point Field Goals: Ashley Wiemann finished second in school history in career 3-point field goals with 223. She was also second on the list of season 3-point field goals making 98 this season. Maggie Youngberg finished with 132 career 3-point field goals which ranks ninth all-time. Career Blocked Shots: Bridget Yoerger finished her career with 101 career blocked shots which ranks 3rd all-time in career blocked shots. Ryun Williams is in his first season as head basketball coach. Williams, who was the winningest women's basketball at Wayne State College, is the 10th head women's basketball coach in the history of The University of South Dakota. Williams has an overall coaching record of 253-154 in his career. He finished his 14th season as a head coach. In his 10 seasons at Wayne State, Williams took over a program that had won just 13 games the previous two seasons and turned it into an NCAA Tournament team. His team's recorded 20 wins or more in three of the last four seasons and made appearances in the NCAA Division II North Central Region tournament in two of the last three seasons. While at Wayne State, he compiled a 181-105 record (.632) and became the winningest women's basketball coach in school history. In 2007-08, he guided the Wildcats to a 21-9 record, which included a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Williams' players have received plenty of postseason recognition. He has had players named WBCA All-American honorable mention, NSIC Player of the Year and NSIC Tournament MVP. Two players have earned NSIC Defensive Player of the Year honors, two have won the Dodie Martin and two were named the league's newcomers of the year. Before taking over at Wayne State, Williams was the women's head coach at Sheridan College (WY) for three seasons. HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM The University of South Dakota completed its 38th season of women's basketball and has played 990 games compiling an all-time record of 563-427. LONG-RANGE THREAT Senior Ashley Wiemann had an outstanding season shooting the ball from three-point range for the USD women. Wiemann hit 98-of- 216 three-pointers (45.4 percent) this season. Wiemann's 98 three-pointers are second-best in a season ever by a Coyote women's player. The record is held by Jeana Hoff man at 127. SOLID AT THE LINE The Coyote women were a strong free-throw shooting team this season, shooting 74.1 percent from the line. That includes five players in the rotation shooting 75 percent or better, with Kara Iverson (81 percent) and Annie Roche (80.3 percent) leading the way. In contrast, USD's opponents shot 70.4 percent from the line this season. MOSLEY CONTRIBUTING IN ALL PHASES Jasmine Mosley (Jr., Bellevue, NE) was a steady player all year long for USD as she's contributed in several phases of the game. In addition to serving as one of the team's primary ballhandlers, Mosley was third on the team in scoring (9.4 points per game), second in rebounding (5.1), first in assists (105) and third in steals (31). Mosley shot 77.5 percent (79-of-102) from the free-throw line and 52.2 percent (97-of-186) from the field this season.