South Dakota Turns Tables on Fort Wayne, Beats Mastodons by 14
With a host of road games, key injuries, and losses, to start the Summit League schedule, the South Dakota Coyotes knew that once February hit they'd be at home and healthy, and have a chance to make a move in the standings.
The Coyotes are right on schedule, winning four of their last five, with a dominating 84-70 win over Fort Wayne Thursday night in Vermillion.
For the second straight game USD hosted a team that beat them the first time around, scoring more than 90 points in the process.
Last Friday, the Coyote defense shaved 24 points off of Denver's first game total, beating the Pioneers by 21, Thursday night it was time to dish out some payback to the Mastodons, holding them 26 points under their first game total.
The turnaround on defense has been staggering. Denver shot 52 percent with eight 3-pointers in the meeting, 36 percent with three 3's in the rematch. IPFW scorched USD for 13 3's and 53 percent shooting the first time around; Thursday at the DakotaDome the visitors shot 35 percent and made just three from behind the arc, including 0-of-14 in the second half.
Coyote guard Nicole Seekamp, who didn't play in the first Fort Wayne game because of an ankle injury, was a force to be reckoned with in the rematch, hitting four of her seven shots in the first half for 10 points. That shooting effort was bested by Margaret McCloud off the bench, 4-of-4 for 10 points of her own in the first 20 minutes as USD led at the break 40-33.
That lead ballooned to as many as 24 in the second half as the Coyotes opened the second half on a 16-0 run.
The Mastodons did trim the edge to as close as 14, with 20 points from Ariana Simmons, but Fort Wayne's two big guns - Haley Seibert and Amanda Hyde, who combined for 58 points in the first meeting, registered just 37 this time as IPFW could get no closer down the stretch.
Seekamp finished with 19 points for USD, McCloud added 14 points and nine rebounds, Raeshel Contreras 12 points, Tia Hemiller a double-double (11 points/11 rebounds), and Polly Harrington 10 points.
The Coyotes outrebounded IPFW by six and grabbed 30 boards on the defensive end.
South Dakota (13-11/4-5) hosts IUPUI Saturday at 2:00pm. The Jaguars scored 80 on USD in the first meeting last month, winning by 21 in Indianapolis.