Summit League Women: South Dakota Grabs First Conference Win, Blows Out Omaha
Nothing has come easy for the South Dakota women's basketball team so far this Summit League season.
Without starter Heidi Hoff for the season with a knee injury, and with floor leader Nicole Seekamp sidelined for the second straight game with ankle problems, the Coyotes had dropped their first four of the conference schedule, with the worst defense in the Summit League.
Saturday in Vermillion, the defense showed up and USD finally got something easy: a 75-51 win over Omaha.
South Dakota played great team basketball early, picking up 11 assists on their first 13 made baskets, opening up an early 22-8 lead over the Mavericks.
Lisa Loeffler was impressive in the first half hitting 7-of-9 for 17 points, while Tia Hemiller's 8 rebounds were helping the Coyotes outboard UNO in the first half by 7.
The USD defense was stingy, limiting the Mavs to just 35% shooting, while forcing 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
It all added up to a 42-16 halftime advantage for the Coyotes, who scored the last 11 points on the first half.
The South Dakota advantage was as big as 32 points in the second half.
Loeffler sat much of the second half, but still finished with a double-double: 17 points and 10 rebounds. Polly Harrington had 13, Raeshel Contreras with 10.
USD limited the Mavericks to 36% shooting, more importantly just 1-of-10 from behind the 3-point arc, a stat that had been killing the Coyotes on defense through the first four games.
The Coyotes (10-10/1-4) play at North Dakota State next Thursday and at South Dakota State next Sunday.