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Coyotes Outlast Leathernecks, Win By Three On Road

It was a game that had nearly as many back-and-forth swings as made baskets, as South Dakota survived on the road Saturday, beating Western Illinois 79-76.

The contest featured 14 ties and 18 lead changes.

The Coyotes began the game with a pair of 3-pointers from Polly Harrington and Raeshel Contreras to open up a four point advantage.

All of the Leathernecks points came from Ashley Luke in the first six minutes as she had five and USD led by as many as five. Luke finished with 13 first half points.

Then a familiar sight for the Coyote defense, the 3-point shooting of Michelle Maher.  Maher, who buried seven 3’s in the first meeting, strung together a couple down the stretch in the first half and WIU had a two point lead. Maher had 10 at the break as the two teams were tied at 32 after 20 minutes.

The Coyote bench played well in the first half, as Bridget Arens and Margaret McCloud combined for 13 points.  Harrington had seven for USD.

Things don’t get much tighter than they did in the second half.  With seven minutes to play and the game tied at 72, neither team led by more than a point for the next six minutes, until the final minute when Contreras got a steal and Tia Hemiller converted at the other end, giving USD a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Hemiller finished with a double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds), one of six Coyote players in double figures led by Seekamp with 18 and Contreras with 15.

Luke single handedly kept WIU in it with 30 points.

Both teams took very good care of the basketball, committing just nine turnovers each.

South Dakota (15-12/6-6) closes out the regular season at home with North Dakota State Thursday, South Dakota State Sunday.


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