Coyotes Dig Big Hole, Rally For Second Half Lead, Let Game Slip Away At Omaha
The road has not been kind to South Dakota this Summit League season, with just one of the Coyotes conference victories coming away from Vermillion.
But after a very successful home stand with three straight wins, five in their last six, coming into Thursday's game at Omaha, the Coyotes had confidence going against a team they beat by 24 last month.
That confidence was shaken by a slow start and the road woes continued for USD, losing 69-61 at Omaha.
The Mavericks grabbed some separation from the Coyotes midway through the first half with torrid shooting. The Mavericks hitting 8-of-13 in the first eight minutes, getting six players in the score book, keying a 13-0 run to lead by 12.
During the first eight minutes of the half, USD got points from just two players - Polly Harrington and Raeshel Contreras - and hit just two of their first 12 shots as a team.
UNO never did cool off in the first 20 minutes, pushing the lead to as many as 17 with 3:56 left. Taijhe Kelly pacing the Mavs with 14 first half points, Mikaela Shaw and Ericka House with eight each.
South Dakota did finally get a few shots to fall down the stretch before half, cutting the deficit to 12 at the break, with Polly Harrington's nine points leading the way. Lisa Loeffler, who had 17 first half points in the first meeting with UNO, was limited to four in the first 20 minutes.
It was a much better showing for the USD offense in the early stages of the second half, as Loeffler got things going with eight points in the first ten minutes, part of a 14-5 Coyote run, moving the visitors back to within six points.
Then it was Seekamp's turn to put the team on her back, with a trio of 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch, and all of the sudden USD had a lead at 54-53 with 6:17 left.
But Shaw took over down the stretch for the Mavericks with back-to-back baskets to put UNO up three, and the home team sealed it from the free throw line late.
Kelly was impressive for Omaha with 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting to go with eight blocked shots and seven rebounds, Shaw had 17 points, House with 10.
Seekamp led USD with 18, including four 3-pointers. Harrington had 15 points and nine rebounds, Loeffler had 11 of her 15 in the second half.
South Dakota (14-12/5-6) plays at Western Illinois Saturday at 4:00pm.