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USD Wins, Roche Scores 1,000th Point

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VERMILLION, S.D. – A balanced scoring attack which saw four players score in double figures helped the South Dakota women’s basketball team roll to a 79-56 rout of Cornell in nonconference action Monday night at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D. The Coyotes improved to 10-4 on the year, while Cornell dropped to 5-8.


Senior Amber Hegge (Crofton, Neb.) led the way for the Coyotes with 22 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.  Senior Annie Roche (Vermillion, S.D.) added 11 points, and became the 19th Coyote player to surpass 1,000 points for her career in the contest. Sophomore McKayla Knudson (South Sioux City, Neb.) added 11 points, three rebounds and two blocks, while junior guard Tempestt Wilson (Elk River, Minn.) added 10 points and four assists. Junior guard Alexis Yackley (Vermillion, S.D.) had a game-high eight assists to go with eight points.


The Coyotes – who shot just 24 percent in a loss at Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday – showed no ill effects in Monday’s game.  They shot 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the field in the game, including 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from three-point range.


“I thought we scored the ball well tonight,” South Dakota head coach Ryun Williams said. “Forty-three points in the first half, that’s just we needed coming off of a tough offensive performance at Kansas City. We shot the ball very well. We were organized all night offensively. We did a nice job of getting kids in the right spots and our kids did a nice job of making baskets.”


South Dakota trailed only once in the game, and that was at 4-3 with 19:01 left in the first half. From there, the Coyote offense heated up, going on an 18-5 run over the next 5:43 to build a 21-9 lead.  Five different Coyotes scored during that stretch, led by Hegge with six points and Wilson with five.


The Coyote lead never dropped below eight points the rest of the half as South Dakota took a 43-32 lead into halftime.  Hegge had 13 points in the first half, while Roche had 11 and Wilson 10. Roche eclipsed 1,000 points with her layup with 4:32 left in the half; she entered the game 10 points short of the milestone.


South Dakota got off to a strong start to open the second half. They opened on a 10-2 run in the first 4:06 to push the lead to 53-34.  Hegge had five points during that run while Yackley drained a three.


“In the second half, we got a better handle on them defensively,” Williams said. “The first three or four minutes of the second half were very key.”


From there, the Coyotes were never threatened, and extended their lead to as much as 28 in the second half on their way to their 10th win of the season.


Senior Jodie Boss (Columbus, Neb.) had six points, six rebounds and two blocks in just 18 minutes of action. Freshman Kelly Stewart (Amery, Wis.) added four points and four rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.  Eleven of the 12 Coyote players who saw playing time scored in the win.


South Dakota returns to Summit League action Saturday night at North Dakota State in the first meeting between the two North Central Conference rivals since 2003-04. Game time is 5 p.m. Saturday in Fargo, N.D.

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