With a quartet of Cougars in double figures, the University of Sioux Falls stormed past previously undefeated Minnesota State, Mankato 77-64 in women's basketball action at the Stewart Center on Saturday. The Cougars improve to 5-4 on the season (2-3, NSIC) while the Mavericks slipped to 7-1 (4-1, NSIC). The Cougars shelled the Mavericks with 13 three-pointers in 21 tries while the visitors struggled from downtown.

Laura Johnson led the Cougars with 24 points, while Alyssa Rushton followed with a career-high 20 points that included 8-for-8 from the stripe. Teagan Molden and Jaicee Ulmer finished with 10 apiece.

It’s a good thing that the Cougars were hot from outside for the Mavericks allowed only 14 points in the paint while the Cougars out boarded MS-M on the glass, 41-35.

Sioux Falls opened the second half on a 19-8 run and great defensive rebounding again allowed the points to come uninterrupted. The Cougars drained five three-pointers during the stretch and led by as many as 19 points before the Mavericks leveled out on the offensive end. MSU trimmed the margin to 11 points with less than eight minutes to play but could not get enough stops to make much headway into the commanding lead.

USF is off for holiday break and will return to the hardwood on January 4, when they travel to Upper Iowa.