After falling 79-70 to Creighton University at their DakotaDome Thursday night, the University of South Dakota Coyotes were faced with another Missouri Valley Conference opponent in the Wichita State Shockers and a choice."Losing that Creighton game was tough, but there are two ways you can look at it; you can hang your head or try to bounce back," said USD junior guard Annie Roche. "We decided that we needed to do everything we could to win this game."The Coyotes chose the latter and won the gritty matchup against the Shockers, who thrive on scoring off turnovers, 57-47 Sunday to end a 4-game homestand with three wins.During the homestand, USD also beat Upper Iowa 71-47 Nov. 23 and Santa Clara University 70-53 Nov. 30.The Shockers scored a pair of easy buckets on their first possessions, but the Coyotes got their points on a coast-to-coast lay-in from Tempestt Wilson.After that, the Coyotes sought to take care of the ball and were able to play better defense."They average 24 points a game off turnovers and they scored 42 points off one team, so that was a big emphasis for us," said USD guard Alexis Yackley of the Coyotes protection of the ball. "We've played teams that get up on you, so that helped."In taking a 13-11 lead with 7:59 remaining, the Coyotes were holding the Shockers to 38.5-percent shooting and committed just four turnovers.Annie Roche dropped in a 3-pointer and swished in a patented stop-and-pop shot from the paint. Stacia Robertson added a pair of buckets to offset a 3-pointer from Wichita State's Alicia Sanchez to give USD the 13-11 lead.The Coyotes twice built 4-point leads – their largest of the half as Pam January doused a long jumper and Jodie Boss scored inside on an assist from Yackley for a 17-13 USD lead.USD led 21-17 at the half as Robertson found a streaking Sam Mehr for a lay-up and Wilson drove in for another basket.The Coyotes held the Shockers to just eight field goals and 30.8-percent in the half and kept them off the free-throw line in holding the visitors to 17 first-half points.USD shot 9-24 for 37.8-percent in the half, but turned the ball over just five times while creating 10 Shocker turnovers.The Coyote continued to grow in the second half as Wilson swished an elbow jumper, and Roche pushed the ball after a steal and dropped a dime to Amber Hegge for a lay-in and a 29-21 USD lead.Yackley gave the home team their first double-digit lead at 35-22 by perfectly draining a 25-foot jumper and then dropping a pass into Boss for an easy basket."We were just feeling it out there," said Yackley about letting loose with the long trey. "We were running the floor and letting it fly."The turnover bug that the Coyotes had avoided bit them and Wichita State scored seven points in 38 seconds.Haleigh Lankster created a 3-point play off a Coyote turnover, Breanna Dawkins popped in a jumper off the dribble and Lankster created a steal and took it in for a lay-up, cutting USD's lead to 39-31 with 10:20 to play. Lankster – off another USD turnover at the Shocker end – stroked a 3-pointer, but the Coyotes still held firm with a 43-34 lead.The Shockers twice got within seven points in the final 6:18, but Hegge scored the final seven USD points to salt away the 57-47 win.Wichita State finished shooting 30.8 percent from the floor and only forced 13 turnovers. In turn, they committed 18 of their own turnovers."I thought we were able to start the game well and we were able to finish it," said USD head coach Ryun Williams. "It was hard to get some flow going, but we made stop after stop; defensively is where we won that game."We got really good shots, and five turnovers in the first half, we'll take that," added Williams. "All of our guards whether it was Rochie, Alexis, Case, Mehr, Hiebert or Hegge did a nice job of handling the pressure; 13 turnovers against that team is really good."
By David Lias For most people in Vermillion, Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson have been merely images on newsprint. The … Read Article