GREELEY, Colo.—Northern Colorado scored 15 unanswered points in the third quarter and that proved the difference in a 72-65 win against South Dakota Friday night inside Bank of Colorado Arena.
Grace Larkins scored a career-high 30 points and had eight rebounds for the visiting Coyotes, who fell to 4-4 on the year. Northern Colorado got 21 points from Delaynie Byrne and 19 more from Hannah Simental to improve to 6-2.
The teams were tied at 31-31 at the break. South Dakota got a bucket from Jeniah Ugofsky and a free throw from Macy Guebert to start the second half but went nearly seven minutes without another point. The Bears forced five turnovers during that stretch while getting to the free-throw line on the other end. They led 49-40 thru three.
South Dakota made just two field goals over the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, but Guebert hit a 3 and Larkins made two free throws to close the gap to 58-52 with two minutes to go. The dagger was a Simental 3-pointer with 1:45 left. The Bears knocked down 11-of-12 from the free-throw line from there to secure the win.
Redshirt freshman Carley Duffney earned her first collegiate start and logged 16 minutes for a South Dakota team trying to replace the production lost by injured starter Madison GrangeMorgan Hansen offered all 10 bench points for South Dakota. Guebert and Alexi Hempe totaled nine points each.
South Dakota was playing its last game in a season-long, four-game road trip. The Coyotes return to campus for mid-major battle with Drake (4-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.