SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) – With 16 points from Megan Fannin and 14 off the bench by Madison Wuebben, the University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Team (13-6, 8-4 NSIC South) turned back Minnesota Crookston (1-16, 1-11 NSIC) in a hard-fought NSIC cross-divisional contest at the Stewart Center on Saturday (Jan. 22).

With the victory, USF won for the fifth time in six games, improved to 9-1 all-time against UMC and retained a hold on second place in the NSIC South at 8-4. USF is just a half-game back of Minnesota State in the NSIC South. USF, which is 13-6 overall, will take to the road against NSIC North leaders St. Cloud State (13-3, 11-2 NSIC) and Minnesota Duluth (13-4, 11-2 NSIC) on Jan. 28-29.

USF Head Coach Travis Traphagen was impressed by UMC and pleased to come away with a victory.

“They battled hard all game long and gave us some problems. You have to give credit to them. They have some really outstanding players in Abi Fraaze and Kylie Post. They are really close and are proving to be a really difficult team to deal with,” said Traphagen, who now has 264 career wins at USF.

“I thought we were pretty good at times today. Megan (Fannin) got going in the second half and Madison (Wuebben) came off the bench to provide a spark. In assessing our play, we are getting a lot of good looks and we just have to start making shots more consistently from the perimeter while also attacking the rim and trying to draw contact,” he said.

Against UMC, Fannin hit 5-of-15 field goals and also 5-of-6 from the free-throw line while securing four rebounds and recording three steals, a career-high. She also reached double digits for the 13th time this season and for the second game in a row.

Wuebben was just a point off her career-best but reached double digits for the second time with 14 points. She was 5-of-7 from the field and tied her career-best by hitting three triples on five attempts. Wuebben also had two rebounds, two assists and a steal.

The Cougars also had solid production from junior guard Dallie Hoskinson who had nine points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Hoskinson moved past 700 career points and now has 703. Danielle Schaub added seven points and six rebounds while sophomore Madison Birnbaum supplied nine points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.

While USF hit just 38.7 percent from the floor on 24-of-62 shooting, the Cougars converted 9-of-25 from the three-point range for 36 percent. However, they did not meet their season average at the foul line as they were just 13-of-22.

Key to the Cougars’ success was its 27-to-10 margin in points off turnovers. The Cougars had 12 steals, including four by Krystal Carlson, as UMC committed 20 turnovers in the game. For USF, they have had double-digits steals 11 times this season as their defense has become one of the best in the league. Over the past three games, they allowed 60 points to NSU, 59 to Bemidji State and 60 today vs Minnesota Crookston.

Also pivotal to USF’s success tonight was its advantage on the break as they had a 20-to-7 margin. And, led by Wuebben, USF also had a 33-to-13 margin in bench points.

While UMC was hurt by turnovers, they had a solid shooting night until the fourth quarter. The Golden Eagles hit on 16-of-30 shots through the first three quarters and finished 21-of-50 for 42 percent. They were just 5-of-20 in the fourth quarter for 25 percent. The Golden Eagles were led by Abi Fraaze with 16 points and seven rebounds while Abigail Leach added 14 points, including 4-of-9 from three-point range, and Bren Fox had 10 points.

UMC opened up a 16-13 lead after one quarter but the Cougars outscored the visitors, 22-13 in the second quarter to take a 35-29 lead to the halftime. Once again, UMC had a 16-13 margin the third quarter as USF’s lead was just 48-45. Then, after UMC tied the game twice in the fourth quarter, the Cougars had a 19-9 closing run to finish with a 70-60 victory.

Scoring Summary —
In the first quarter, UMC controlled the play as they open with 6-of-10 from the field and USF was 2-of-13 for 15.4 percent. The Cougars hit 3-of-4 free throws in the quarter. UMC opened the game by hitting 3-of-4 shots, including a pair of three-pointers for an 8-4 lead at the seven-minute mark. After USF closed to within 8-7, UMC scored three straight baskets and led, 14-7, at the 4:12 mark. Wuebben’s three-pointer with 1:17 drew USF within 14-10 and then Hoskinson knocked in another three with 45 seconds to play as USF trailed, 14-13, before UMC took a 16-13 to the break.

In the second quarter, USF outscored UMC, 22-13, to grab a 35-29 halftime advantage. The Cougars used a 13-2 run to grab a 26-18 advantage midway through the quarter. UMC responded with a pair of triples from Leach, whose third of the half, closed USF’s lead to 26-24.

After UMC tied the game at 26, USF responded with a basket from JeMae Nichols and a three from Birnbaum as they took a 35-29 lead to the break. USF hit 7-of-18 field goals for 38.9 percent in the quarter and they also 3-of-8 from three-point range while making 5-of-10 foul shots. UMC was 3-of-8 from the field but made a pair of triples and 5-of-6 free throws.

Overall in the half, USF was 11-of-35 for 31.4 percent from the field. They made 5-of-15 from three-point range and 8-of-14 free throws while forcing 15 turnovers on nine steals. UMC was 10-of-18 for 55.6 percent and 4-of-6 from the three-point range for 66.7 percent. UMC also had a 19-14 advantage on the boards.

In the third quarter, UMC cut the USF margin. With a 16-13 advantage, they trailed just 848-45 at the break. In the quarter, USF was 6-of-12 from the field for 50 percent while USF was 6-of-14 for 42.9 percent. However, UMC made 3-of-6 foul shots. UMC scored early to draw within 35-31 with nine minutes to play before Carlson’s lay-up gave USF a 37-31 lead (8:16). A three by Emma Carpenter with 5:03 to play in the third quarter helped UMC draw within, 37-36. USF answered with a 6-2 run for a 44-40 lead with 1:30 to play.

In the fourth quarter, USF closed on a 19-9 run and finished the quarter with a 22-15 advantage as they earned their eighth league victory. However, UMC made it tough on the Cougars in the final stanza. UMC tied the game twice with a three-point play by Fraaze with 8:40 left knotting the game at 51.

Then, USF turned to Fannin, whose jumper broke the deadlock. She added a triple at the 6:59 mark as the Cougars had a 57-51 advantage. The Golden Eagles answered with five straight points to draw within 57-56. With a three-ball from Wuebben, USF took a 60-56 lead. Krystal Carlson, who had seven points, three rebounds and four steals, knocked in a jumper which was followed by another basket from Wuebben as USF moved the margin to 66-58 and just 1:25 to play. UMC could draw no close as USF extended the advantage to 10 by the final buzzer.