The South Dakota women's basketball team finished off a three game road swing to start Summit League play with hopes of salvaging at least one win before heading home for the next two, but the Coyotes gave up an early lead and fell at Fort Wayne, 96-78.

For the third time in the last five games, the Coyotes were without leading scorer Nicole Seekamp, who continues to try and bounce back from an ankle injury.

In her absence, USD was looking for scoring from other places on the roster.

In the first half, they got it from Polly Harrington who was 4-of-5 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line for 15 points in the first 20 minutes.  South Dakota by as many as nine early on.

The Coyote defense was effective in shutting down Summit League pre-season Player of the Year Amanda Hyde in the first half, limiting the 23 point per game scorer to just six, but Haley Seibert more than picked up the slack, hitting 6-of-8 from the floor, 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc, for 20 first half points, keying a Mastodon comeback and a 44-43 halftime lead.

The Mastodons pushed the lead to as many as six early in the second half on the strength of three early 3-pointers, but USD countered with a 12-5 run, to grab a 62-61 lead with 11 minutes to play.

But over the final 10 minutes of the game, Hyde found her shooting touch, with 17 second half points, while Seibert was simply unstoppable, with15 second half points to give her a career high 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting with seven 3-pointers.  The Mastodons finished with 13 3-pointers in the game.

Fort Wayne finished the game on a 35-16 run, shooting 56% in the second half.

South Dakota had four players in double figures, Harrington with 24, Raeshel Contreras with 17, Tia Hemiller with 13, and Lisa Loeffler with 10.

The Coyotes (9-9/0-3) have their conference home opener Thursday night against Western Illinois at 7:00 in Vermillion.