Coyote women fall short at SIUE, 57-53

Edwardsville, Ill. � Junior forward Amber Hegge scored a game-high 18 points, but the South Dakota women�s basketball team fell to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 57-53 in nonconference action Sunday in Edwardsville, Ill. Junior center Jodie Boss also set the single-season record for blocks in the loss for the Coyotes, who fell to 9-8 on the season.

Hegge (Crofton, Neb.) finished 5-of-10 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line to go with a season-high nine rebounds. Junior guard Annie Roche (Vermillion, S.D.) added 13 points, while sophomore guard Tempestt Wilson (Elk River, Minn.) added 11 points and four assists. Boss (Columbus, Neb.), who had nine points, five rebounds and two steals, set the shot block record with a block with 2:03 left in the first half. Boss now has 55 blocks for the season; the previous record of 54 was held by Hegge.

The Coyotes committed 27 turnovers and hit just 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from the three-point line in the contest. Despite those factors, South Dakota stayed in the game, thanks to its defense.

Down two at halftime, South Dakota regained the lead at 36-34 after Wilson drained a three-pointer with 15:32 left. However, SIUE scored the next eight points to build a 42-36 lead with 13:13 left, forcing a Coyote timeout. South Dakota came back to within one point on two occasions late in the game � including 54-53 after a Roche basket with 2:19 left � but was unable to retake the lead. SIUE�s Courtney Kenner hit a three with 1:51 left to push the lead to 57-53, which was the final score.

South Dakota scored the game�s first four points, but SIUE scored the next nine to take a 9-4 lead. The Coyotes came back with a 12-2 run � with Wilson and Hegge each scoring six points � to take a 16-11 lead with 9:34 left in the half.

The Cougars came back to regain the lead and built their biggest advantage of the half at 29-23 with 1:26 to go. The Coyotes closed the gap to 29-27 � which was the halftime score � with 29 seconds left in the frame after Roche drained a three.

Four players scored for the Coyotes in the first half, led by Wilson with eight and Boss with seven. Hegge and Roche had six each. The Coyotes shot 39.3 percent in the first half, compared to 34.3 percent for SIUE. South Dakota had 11 turnovers in the opening half.

For the game, South Dakota shot 38.5 percent, compared to 37.1 for SIUE. The Coyotes did hold a 43-33 edge on the boards.

Wilson and senior Teresa Case (Sioux Falls, S.D.) shared the team lead with four assists each. Hegge and Boss had two steals each. Freshman Stacia Robertson (Grand Island, Neb.) had six rebounds and two blocks off the bench.

South Dakota opens its 12-game Great West Conference slate on Saturday, Jan. 15 at North Dakota. Game time is 1 p.m. in Grand Forks, N.D.

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