Nicole Seekamp scored 20 points and had nine assists and Margaret McCloud earned her fifth career double-double to lead South Dakota to an 81-71 win against Utah State Thursday evening inside the DakotaDome. The Coyotes (4-5) improved to 3-0 at home while Utah State (5-2) dropped the first of a four-game road trip.
Seekamp had 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the second half in rallying the Coyotes from a 39-35 halftime deficit. Her nine assists are a career high. She was 13 of 17 from the free-throw line and finished with seven boards.
McCloud, meanwhile, played 18 minutes off the USD bench, scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She was 5 of 5 from the floor for 10 first-half points. She finished 8 of 9 from the field and 2 of 4 from the line.
Utah State got 27 points from senior guard Jennifer Schlott, who entered this week as one of the top scorers in the nation at 23.5 points per game. Schlott made 6 of 13 shots in the first half for 18 points, but was 4 of 17 in the second half.
The Coyotes out-scored the Aggies 15-4 at the start of the second half. Seekamp broke Utah State’s 1-3-1, trapping zone defense by finding Polly Harrington twice in the paint and hit McCloud for an easy two that gave USD a 46-44 lead with 15 minutes to go. Harrington finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Back-to-back buckets in the lane by Schlott and a fastbreak layup by Makenlee Williams tied the game at 50-50 with 11 minutes remaining. That’s when USD freshman forward Bridget Arens scored all six of her points. Her third bucket pushed the lead back to seven, 60-53, with eight minutes left.
Foul trouble became a theme down the stretch for the Aggies and it was exacerbated down the stretch as Utah State tried to play catchup. South Dakota made 12 of 21 free throws in the final 5:33 and was 27 of 44 for the game. Utah State was 15 of 17.
South Dakota returns to the court Saturday in Rapid City where the Coyotes will take on former assistant coach Ryan Larsen and his South Dakota Mines Lady Hardrockers. It is the first of a USD women’s and men’s doubleheader. The Coyotes and Lady Hardrockers tip off at 6 p.m. CST (5 p.m. local time) at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The USD men will follow against Wyoming.
Courtesy: Jarrod Tell, USD