North Dakota placed four of five starters in double figures and recovered from a nine-point halftime deficit to get past South Dakota 65-61 Sunday at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. It was the first win of the season for North Dakota (1-2) while the Coyotes (1-3) have lost three in a row.
Madi Buck scored 18 points and teammate Mia Loyd added 17 for North Dakota, which trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and 31-22 at the break. North Dakota scored 11 unanswered points early in the second stanza to make up the deficit and shot 48 percent (15 of 31) in the second half.
The Coyotes got a career-high 16 points from sophomore point guard Tia Hemiller and a double-double (10 pts, 10 reb.) from sophomore center Margaret McCloud. Hemiller knocked down four of USD’s 10 three-pointers, but seven of the 10 were made in the first half.
South Dakota’s two leading scorers heading into the contest, Nicole Seekamp and Raeshel Contreras, combined for nine points on 3 of 21 shooting. Seekamp had averaged 19 points in her first two games and had scored in double figures in 11 consecutive dating back to last season. She had two free throws Sunday and was 0 of 10 from the field.
North Dakota took its first lead of the second half on a jumper by Megan Lauck with 12 minutes remaining. Taneesha Greeves answered on the other end with a three-pointer, but South Dakota was held scoreless for nearly five minutes while UND built a six-point lead.
The Coyotes got within two points at 63-61 after Lisa Loeffler made two free throws with 41 seconds remaining, but Leah Szabla made a short bucket in the lane with 15 seconds left to seal the win. It was the second field goal of the game for Szabla who had five points.
UND forward Allyssa Wall had 10 points, eight rebounds and half of her team’s 10 blocked shots. North Dakota also had 12 steals and forced 19 turnovers.
South Dakota will host Drake at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Pentagon in Sioux Falls. It will be the fifth consecutive game the Coyotes will play outside of Vermillion to start the season.