Tia Hemiller’s team-high 15 points led a balanced South Dakota effort in the Coyotes’ 76-48 win against College of St. Mary (Neb.) Thursday night inside the DakotaDome. It is the fifth consecutive win for the Coyotes (7-5), who compete at No. 19/17 Nebraska at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Lincoln.
South Dakota led 43-16 at halftime and by as many as 39 points in the second half. The Coyotes held St. Mary to two points during a 13-minute stretch that spanned both halves. When Flames guard Akia Davis made a layup with 16:35 left in the second half, it ended a 25-2 USD run.
It was an exhibition game for St. Mary (9-3), an NAIA Division II program out of Omaha. The Flames were overmatched, but did get a 21-point, 17-rebound performance from Deaundra Young, a former Florida Gator. Young played all 20 minutes of the second half where she got 17 points and 11 rebounds. Young blocked five shots and finished 9 of 19 from the field.
USD guard Nicole Seekamp registered her first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Raeshel Contreras came off the bench and scored 12 points. Ten of the 12 Coyotes who entered game got in the scoring column. No Coyote played more than 27 minutes.
South Dakota stole 14 passes and forced 24 turnovers. The Coyotes shot 39 percent from the field, but were 5 of 25 from three-point range.
St. Mary was 3 of 21 from beyond the arc. The Flames made 7 of 35 shots in the first half, but improved their shooting in the second to finish at 30 percent (20 of 66). Junior guard Tiffany Anzalone is averaging 18 points for St. Mary this season, but was held scoreless on 0 of 7 shooting against the Coyotes.