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Hegge Leads Coyotes Past Santa Clara

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Vermillion, S.D. – Junior forward Amber Hegge and junior guard Annie Roche posted season highs in points, while junior center Jodie Boss notched her first career double-double as a Coyote to lead an all-around effort from the South Dakota women’s basketball team in a 70-53 win over Santa Clara on Tuesday in the DakotaDome. An 8-0 USD run to end the first half proved to be the difference and a 15-2 run over the final three minutes of the second half sealed the deal.

Hegge (Crofton, Neb.) earned 20 points, including 15 in the second half, to help USD (4-3) maintain a lead the entire second frame. Roche (Vermillion, S.D.) chipped in 18 points and five assists, thanks in part to four treys, and Boss had a season-high 12 points to go with 10 rebounds and three blocks.

The Coyotes shot 44 percent (22-of-50) for the game and 33 percent (5-of-15) from deep, while the Broncos connected on 33 percent (17-of-51) and 31 percent (6-of-19). Santa Clara held a 43-31 rebounding advantage, but 16 turnovers to five for USD.

After missing the last four games with an injury, Hegge picked up right where she left of with the first five points for USD. It was a back-and-forth contest early, though, as the lead changed hands four times in the first six minutes. Roche connected on three-straight treys and Boss added a layup to give the Coyotes some breathing room at 16-11 with 13:26 to go, before both teams stepped up the defensive pressure through the middle minutes.

USD held the Broncos without a field goal for over four minutes, but could only get three free throws from freshman forward Stacia Robertson (Grand Island, Neb.) and a jumper from sophomore guard Alexis Yackley (Onida, S.D.) during the stretch to keep the lead at five with five minutes left. Three-straight threes from SC gave the Broncos a brief 26-25 lead, but the Coyotes went on an 8-0 run to end the half up 33-26 at the break. Freshman guard Katelyn Edwards (Crete, Neb.) connected on two free throws down the stretch, Roche scored five straight and senior guard Teresa Case (Sioux Falls, S.D.) downed two free throws with under a second left to give USD their largest lead of the half.

Roche led all USD scorers in the first half with 16 thanks in part to 4-of-4 beyond the arc, while Hegge and Robertson contributed five apiece. USD shot 42 percent (11-of-26) from the field and a sizzling 57 percent (4-of-7) from three, while SC (0-5) shot 34 percent (9-of-26) and 57 percent (4-of-7) as well. The Broncos held a 20-15 rebounding advantage but committed five turnovers to one for USD.

USD maintained a six-point advantage the majority of the second half, as the two squads exchanged baskets in a defensive battle. Boss notched a fastbreak layup and added two free throws, before Hegge scored nine of the next 12 points. Edwards and sophomore guard Tempestt Wilson (Elk River, Minn.) added buckets also as the Coyotes drove the lead to 11 at the midway point.

The USD advantage grew to double digits twice over the next five minutes, but the Broncos kept pace once again. Quick buckets from SC dwindled the lead to four with 3:34 to go, but a 15-2 run over the final minutes sealed the Coyote win. Hegge, Edwards, Roche and Boss all converted free throws in the tense ending.

South Dakota continues its season by welcoming Creighton to the DakotaDome on Thursday at 7 p.m.
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