– Raeshel Contreras’ 19 points and Tia Hemiller’s 16 points led six Coyotes to score eight or more points as the South Dakota women’s basketball team topped the Valparaiso Crusaders 81-70 on Tuesday.
South Dakota (8-6) shot 58 percent (32-of-55) from the field, 44 percent from 3-point range (8-of-18) and had all players who recorded playing time score. With the win, the Coyotes snapped a five-game road losing streak against Division I opponents and now have scored 80 or more points in five of their last seven games.
Polly Harrington recorded 11 points and led USD with six rebounds while freshman guard Jaylah Jackson was 4-for-5 shooting for a career-high nine points. Margaret McCloud and Lisa Loeffler both added eight points.
Jessica Wiedemann led the Crusaders (2-10) with 17 points and seven rebounds. Abby Dean added 15 points, Charae Richardson tallied 13 points and Jessica Carr added 12 points for Valparaiso’s double-digit scorers.
South Dakota played without leading scorer Nicole Seekamp, who sat out with an ankle injury. Seekamp has averaged 15 points and four rebounds per game this season.
The Coyotes held a 24-4 edge in bench points and outscored Valparaiso 34-22 in the paint. South Dakota led by as many as 15 in the second half and never trailed after taking a 24-22 lead off a Taylor Moore 3-pointer with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
South Dakota shot 55 percent (16-of-29) from the field and 63 percent (7-of-11) from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half to hold a 43-36 lead at the break. Valparaiso shot 52 percent (13-of-25) in the first half.
South Dakota will wrap up its non-conference season by hosting Cleveland State at the DakotaDome on Saturday at 2 p.m.