Summit League Preview: Coyote Women at Denver, Omaha
The hottest team in Summit League women's basketball is on the road for a pair this week, in a conference that is notoriously unfriendly to visitors.
South Dakota (17-5/8-1) - winners of seven straight - play a pair of teams in the bottom half of the conference standings: Denver and Omaha.
The Coyotes won the first meeting of the year with the Pioneers, 85-60, in Vermillion last month. Nicole Seekamp and Kelly Stewart combined for 32 points in that game on 12-of-20 shooting. Kate Liveringhouse sparked USD off the bench with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go with five rebounds.
Denver (4-18/2-7) was led by Paige Bradley's 18 points, on the strength of five first half three-pointers. But the Coyotes made some defensive adjustments in the second half and limited Bradley to just three points after intermission. USD's defense also forced 17 turnovers, leading to 20 points.
The Coyotes were dominant inside, outrebounding the Pioneers by 12 and limiting Denver to just two offensive rebounds. USD outscored DU 30-12 inside.
Denver comes in last in the Summit in offense and rebounding and has lost five straight.
Tipoff is 8:00 PM in Denver, Friday night.
Sunday the Coyotes move into Omaha.
USD beat the Mavericks 82-76 in Vermillion last month. Four players scored in double figures for the Coyotes, led by Nicole Seekamp's 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting.
The South Dakota defense knew it would have its hands full with all-conference forward Mikaela Shaw, who is second behind Seekamp in scoring in the Summit. Shaw finished with 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting. But what USD wasn't expecting was the break out game from center Caroline Hogue. The freshman led UNO with 25 points, and might have had more if she hadn't missed 17 minutes of the first half with foul trouble.
USD won the battle of the boards by ten and the two teams combined for 36 offensive rebounds.
Omaha (11-10/4-5) comes in as the most accurate three-point shooting team in the league, second in field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Hogue leads the Summit with 28 blocked shots in nine games.
Tipoff is 2:00 PM in Omaha, Sunday afternoon.
In Macomb, the Coyotes shot 60 percent in the first half as Seekamp, Stewart, and Tia Hemiller combined for 32 points on 13-of-19 shooting (68%) in the first 20 minutes.
The USD defense held the Leatherneck's second leading scorer, Sophie Reichelt off the scoreboard in the first half. Overall WIU shot just 39 percent on the night.
The Coyotes dominated the boards, pulling down more than 50 rebounds (51) for the fifth time in a game this season, and grabbing more than 20 offensive rebounds (21) for the second time. All 13 players who dressed for the game played and each one of them pulled down at least one rebound.
At home against North Dakota State Saturday, the Coyote defense was trying to slow down a Bison team that put up 82 points against them in regulation in Fargo last month. At the DakotaDome, USD limited NDSU to just 17 first half points and cruised to a 26-point win.
The Coyotes bench, led by eight points from Jasmine Trimboli and seven points and four rebounds from Allison Arens, scored 33 points in the win.
I talked with USD head coach Amy Williams about last week's sweep and this week's games at Denver and Omaha: