Kaely Hummel scored a season-high 28 points to lead the University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Team (20-7, 15-6 NSIC) to a seventh consecutive win and a season sweep of city rival Augustana (20-10, 12-9 NSIC) with a 76-62 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division victory at the Elmen Center before 2,527 in attendance.
With the victory, USF has recorded its most consecutive wins since reeling off eight straight in the 2015-16 season. The Cougars clinched second in the NSIC South Division with a 15-6 record. With a game to play the Cougars sit one game in back of Concordia St. Paul at 16-5. For the third time in four seasons, USF has reached 20 wins in a season and the fifth time overall with USF head coach Travis Traphagen at the helm. USF will close out the regular season at Wayne State on Saturday afternoon with a 3:30 p.m. game start at Rice Auditorium in Wayne, Neb.
“Our defense and work on the boards were the keys to the victory tonight,” said Traphagen, who now has 214 career wins and USF has a 9-8 edge over the Vikings in their last 17 meetings. “Kaely (Hummel) had a really good game and I thought we had the kind of attack mentality that was key to the victory,” he said.
Hummel, who recorded his 13th 20-point game of the season, made 8-of-16 from the floor and converted 3-of-9 from three-point range and made all nine of his foul shots. With her 28 points, she surpassed 1,100 points in career and sits at 1,124. In her best game of the season, the junior from Cherokee, Iowa added five rebounds, and four assists.
Junior guard Mariah Szymanski recorded her first career double with 11 points and a career-best 10 rebounds while dishing three assists with a pair of steals. Also reaching double-digits in points for USF was Jessie Geer, who had 11 with five rebounds and three steals.
The Cougars opened up a 21-19 lead after a quarter and with a 20-13 margin in the second period took a 41-32 lead at the break. The Cougars had a 20-19 margin in the third quarter for a 61-51 lead after three quarters. USF, which did not trail after the first quarter of play, also had a 15-11 in the fourth quarter and led by 16 points with 18 seconds left as they claimed a double-digit margin of victory.
On the night, the Cougars made 26-of-62 field goals for 41.9 percent but just 4-of-25 from three-point range. However, USF had a 20-to-9 advantage at the foul line and owned a 44-to-40 rebound edge. While USF had just 10 turnovers, they forced 16 by the Vikings as USF had 10 steals and two blocks. Additionally, the Cougars shared the ball with 15 assists on 26 made shots.
The Vikings made 23-of-61 field goals for 37.7 percent and had 7-of-23 conversions from three-point range. Key to the win was USF’s control of the paint to a 32-to-26 point margin and a 13-to-4 margin in points over turnovers. In addition, the Cougars had an 11-to-9 margin in fast break points . The Vikings were led by 20 points from Shelby Selland and 15 from Lynsey Prosser.
GAME BREAKDOWN –
In the opening quarter, USF was able to build a 21-19 lead on the strength of six points from Hummel and five by Anna Goodhope, who had five points, six rebounds and a block on the night but was plagued by foul issues.
After two straight baskets from AU to open the game, the Cougars scored six straight with Szymanski’s jumper providing USF with an 8-5 lead at the 7:10 mark. With a lane jumper from Hummel, USF had a 10-7 lead. But AU answered with a 4-0 run for an 11-10 lead at the 4:28 mark. Goodhope knocked in a three from about 23 feet for a 13-11 edge. USF took a 17-13 lead after a GloriaMulumba jumper in lane with 3:20 to play. At the quarter break, USF maintained a 21-19 advantage.
After the Vikings made a three, the Cougars received a jumper from Carlson for the lead and then Hummel scored on a driving lay-up and with “and 1” gave USF a 32-25 lead. On the next two possession, Kiara James hit a pair of jumpers as USF increased their margin to 36-25 lead at the 3:50 mark. After AU cut the lead to seven, Hummel hit a three-pointer with 2:20 to play in the quarter for a 39-29 lead.
In the opening half when the score was tied three times with four lead changes, the Cougars hit 16-of-36 from the field for 44.4 percent and made all seven free throws while owning a 23-14 rebound advantage. The Vikings made 12-of-27 for 44.4 percent and had 6-of-7 conversions at the foul line. Shelby Selland scored 11 for AU.
Selland scored the first four points of the quarter before Hummel’s jumper gave USF a 43-36 lead with eight minutes to play. Hummel knocked in a three at 5:36 for a 47-40 advantage. Then, she hit a jumper off the fast-break for a 49-40 advantage. USF continued to press the action as Geer made a driving lay-up at the 3:50 mark for a 55-45 advantage.
After USF took a 12-point lead AU hit two straight threes to cut the lead to 57-51. But as was the case for most of the night, every time AU made a run, USF had the answer mainly through the shooting prowess of sharpshooter Hummel. With 30 seconds left in the third quarter, Hummel hit a three for a 61-51 lead which USF took to the break.
As the fourth quarter opened, Geer hit a driving lay-up for a 63-51 lead at the 9:40 mark. Then, Lauren Sanders hit a jumper as USF’s lead grew to 65-51 lead with 8:29 to play. A driving basket by Szymanski helped the Cougars maintain a double-digit lead at 70-57 with 3:34 to play and all but sealed the win. The Vikings never cut the lead under double digits in the second half.