UC Irvine survived a late comeback attempt to top the University of South Dakota’s women’s basketball team 68-64 at the Bren Events Center on Sunday afternoon.
USD (1-1) trailed 63-51 with 3:47 left in the game, but went on a 10-0 run by forcing four turnovers to cut the lead to 63-61 with 1:52 remaining. The Anteaters (1-0) scored the next four points to ice the game and take their season opener.
Camille Buckley led UC Irvine in scoring and rebounding with 15 and eight respectively. Jennifer Tsurumoto added 11 points and Vanessa Aguilar tallied 10 points to the Anteater effort.
Nicole Seekamp recorded 20 points to lead the Coyotes, while Tia Hemiller had nine points and eight rebounds. Lisa Loeffler also added nine points and Raeshel Contreras had seven points.
USD made 13 more free throws (33-20) and had 15 more rebounds (52-37) than the Anteaters, but shot just 26 percent in the game to UC Irvine’s 33 percent. The Anteaters scored 31 points off 26 USD turnovers and held a 30-16 advantage in bench scoring.
The Coyotes started the game on an 8-0 run, but lost the lead for the rest of the way with 11 minutes left in the first half when a three-pointer by Aguilar made it 14-12. UC Irvine held USD to five field goals in the first half and had a 29-24 lead at halftime.