MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The South Dakota women's basketball team came back from a double-digit halftime deficit to tie the game in the second half, but Dayton pulled away late in a 78-56 win over the Coyotes in the opening round of the Subway Classic Saturday in Minneapolis, Minn. South Dakota will now face Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the third-place game on Sunday at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
Sophomores Alexis Yackley (Onida) and Tempestt Wilson (Elk River, Minn.) paced the Coyotes (2-2) with 11 points each. Sophomore Pam January (Richfield, Minn.) recorded a career-high 10 points for South Dakota, which played its second-straight game without leading scorer Amber Hegge (Crofton, Neb.), who is out with an injury.
South Dakota erased an 11-point halftime lead by opening the second frame on an 11-0 run during the first 3:08 to tie the game at 34-34. Wilson hit two 3-pointers during that stretch while Yackley hit one for the Coyotes.Dayton (1-2), an NCAA tournament qualifier in 2009-10, answered with a decisive 16-2 run over the next six minutes, however, to push the lead back to 50-36 with 10:55 left. From there, the Flyers extended the lead as the Coyotes were unable to get closer than nine the rest of the way.
Junior Jackie Hiebert (Maple Grove, Minn.) and junior Jodie Boss (Columbus, Neb.) had seven points each for the Coyotes. Boss and Yackley shared the team lead with three steals each, while junior Annie Roche (Vermillion, S.D.) had a team-high five assists.
The Coyotes got off to a good start in the game and took a 7-5 lead with 16:07 left in the first half after a three-pointer by Yackley, who scored five of South Dakota's first seven points.
Dayton took the lead at 15-12 but the Coyotes hung tough and were within 19-18 after Jodie Boss hit a jumper with 9:33 left in the half. From there Dayton scored the next eight points while at the same time holding the Coyotes without a point for a span of more than five minutes to push the Flyers' lead to 27-18.January ended the South Dakota scoring drought with a basket with 3:57 left in the half to bring South Dakota within 27-20. A three-pointer by Wilson brought the Coyotes within 29-23 with 2:47 to go in the opening half. The Flyers ended the half with five straight points, however to take a 34-23 lead into the break.Yackley had eight points in the first half for South Dakota while January had six and Wilson five. The Coyotes shot 40 percent (10-of-25) in the first half compared to 46.4 percent (13-of-28) for Dayton. The Coyotes had 13 turnovers in the first half but also forced by 14 by Dayton.For the game, the Coyotes shot 42.3 percent (22-of-52) compared to 42 percent (29-of-69) for Dayton, which is picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Conference this season.