SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) – Led by a swarming defense and balanced scoring, the University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Team (1-2) led from start to start and cruised to an 86-36 nonconference win over Presentation College (2-6) in the home opener on Tuesday at the Stewart Center.
Leading the way for the Cougars was freshman guard Megan Fannin who had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and hit a three-pointer. The Cougars also had a career-best 10 points from Lizzie Olson on 5-of-8 shooting while Kiara James added nine points and 10 rebounds in a balanced attack. USF also had eight points from Molly Lutmer while freshman Olivia Gamoke also had seven points, four steals, three rebounds, and two assists. Another freshman guard, Jemae Nichols added seven points with three rebounds and two steals. s. In total, USF had 12 players scored in a game that the Cougars forced 37 turnovers while recording a season-best 19 steals with three blocks.
Overall, USF, which has won 18 straight home-opening games, was 36-of-73 for 49.3 percent but made just 3-of-15 from the three-point range for 20 percent. The Cougars had a 42-28 rebound advantage with 18 off the offensive glass. Olson had four of those 18. USF was also 11-of-15 from the foul line. USF had a 50-22 advantage of points in the paint, 20-13 margin on second-chance points, and an 18-2 margin in fast-break baskets. In addition, USF’s bench held a 47-20 margin against PC.
“Coming off a tough weekend, I was hoping our pressure would bother them offensively,” said USF Head Coach Travis Traphagen. “We had a solid effort and set the tone all night. I really like how we had tremendous balance and were able to get the ball inside. It is always fun going against a former assistant coach Carley Jeffery and we appreciate that she brought her team up her to play. It really helped us prepare for the upcoming conference play,” said Traphagen.
On defense, USF held PC to just 14-of-46 shooting for 30.4 percent. The Saints hit just 2-of-10 from three-point range. Leading the way for PC was forward Brittney Seymour with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Scoring Summary –
In the first quarter, USF opened up a 21-7 lead as they hit 47.1 percent from the field on 8-of-17 shooting while limiting PC to 30 percent on 3-of-10 field goals. Fannin drove for a score and knocked down a three followed by a jumper from Gamoke for a 7-0 lead at the 7:56 mark of the quarter. Later the Cougars took a 13-4 lead on a pair of free throws from Sydney Swanson. Dallie Hoskinson, who had six points, four rebounds, and four steals, had a pair of baskets and Sydney White supplied a floating jumper in the late as the Cougars built the 14-point lead (21-7). Fannin led USF with seven points.
In the second quarter, a basket from Gamoke helped the Cougars to a 25-9 advantage. Fannin added a pair of foul shots and an offensive board and put back by Brecli Honner provided the Cougars with a 29-9 advantage with 5:41 to play. USF, which hit 8-of-17 field goals again in the second quarter took a commanding 39-15 lead to the halftime break. At that point, USF had made 16-of-34 field goals for 47.1 percent although they made just 1-of-9 three-pointers. USF also had six free throws. At that point, PC was 6-of-22 for 27.3 percent and 1-of-5 from the three-point range.
In the third quarter, the Cougars, which would finish with a 46-to-9 advantage in points from turnovers for the game, continued to apply defensive presentation and extended the lead to 45-15 after a basket from James inside the lane. Swanson connected on a pass to Carlson as the Cougars extended the lead to 53-20 with 2:44 to play in the third quarter. At the end of the quarter, USF, which outscored PC, 17-10, took a 56-25 advantage to the fourth quarter. In the third stanza, USF was 7-of-20 from the three-point range while PC hit 4-of-10 from the field.
In the final quarter, USF pushed the lead further as they outscored PC, 30-11. In the quarter, USF was 13-of-19 for 68.4 percent from the field and made both of its triples. As for PC, they hit 4-of-14 for 28.6 percent and made just a triple.