USD's hot shooting buries NDSU women in conference opener

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FARGO—North Dakota State women's basketball team saw a tiny glimmer of hope in the closing minutes of Tuesday's matchup against the University of South Dakota. The Bison had cut the 19-point USD lead to 11 with 3 minutes, 21 seconds to go.

But just as the Coyotes had done all game, Ciara Duffy asserted her dominance, getting a 3-point play in the post to destroy any hope. USD left Fargo with an 82-67 win over Bison in the Summit League opener for NDSU.

"I do respect South Dakota," NDSU coach Maren Walseth said. "I think they are very well-coached, they play extremely hard, they're very unselfish. I think we have a lot of that in us. The difference perhaps is our inexperience and our youth. I do like who we have on our team, I like the hunger, I like the coachability and I have confidence we can continue to move up and to compete and to win these kind of basketball games."

With two sophomores and a freshman in the starting five, the Bison got a look at just how far away they are from a team like USD (10-5, 2-0 Summit).

"I think we really had a shot in this game," said freshman forward Emily Dietz, who finished with 10 points for the Bison. "If we wouldn't have turned the ball over so much right away in the game we would've been a lot closer, so I think just bringing that intensity right away and taking care of the basketball will help us to succeed."

Outside Scheels Center at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex was plenty cold Tuesday, but the shooting inside of it by USD was plenty warm. The Coyotes hit six of the seven 3-pointers they put up in the first quarter.

It looked as though the Bison were slowly going by the wayside, as the Coyotes pushed their lead to as much as 14 in the second. Jasmine Trimboli's fastbreak layup off an NDSU turnover put the Coyotes up 38-26 late in the first half.

"The main point was just taking care of the ball," NDSU junior guard Marina Fernandez said. "We had a lot of turnovers and the main point was to try to have more possessions and just don't let them rush us."

The Bison didn't go quietly, as Michelle Gaislerova hit a jumper, Fernandez got a block on the other end and Gaislerova drilled a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 38-31. Dietz split two free throws in the closing seconds and the Bison cut the lead to six, despite having 15 turnovers in the first half.

"I think that their pressure really created indecisiveness on our part, got us on our heels a bit and put us in situations that we became frantic or a little bit uncomfortable, and we did some uncharacteristic things," Walseth said. "I don't think 10 turnovers in the first quarter is who we are at all."

The momentum shifted back to USD in the opening minutes of the second half, as the Coyotes opened the third with a 15-5 run. The two teams swapped five points in the opening minutes, but USD got plenty of separation with a 10-0 run. Jaycee Bradley and Allison Arens each hit layups, while Duffy sank a 3-pointer and notched a 3-point play to cap the 10-0 run.

The Bison (7-8, 0-1) had no answer for Bradley, who hit her first eight shots, including all five of her 3-pointers, for a game-high 21 points.

"In this case it was Jaycee, last year it was somebody else," Walseth said. "They are full of dual threats and players that are incredibly smart."

The loss was NDSU's seventh in its last nine games.

"I think we just got to remember to stick together," Dietz said. "The loss is tough, but we got to come back on practice Thursday and we have another tough one coming up. Just have to learn from our mistakes and not dwell on the past."

USD 27 38 68 82

NDSU 14 32 49 67

USD (10-5 overall, 2-0 Summit): Liveringhouse 4-7 0-0 10, Arens 7-15 3-3 19, Bradley 8-9 0-0 21, McKeever 2-10 0-0 5, Duffy 5-9 3-4 16, Trimboli 3-9 1-2 7, Frederick 0-1 0-0 0, Lamb 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 31-62 13-27 82.

NDSU (7-7 overall, 0-1 Summit): Kvilvang 0-1 0-0 0, Nudell 3-6 0-0 6, Thunstedt 3-9 0-0 8, S. Jacobson 2-6 0-0 5, Fernandez 3-4 0-0 8, Ogden 1-1 2-2 4, Gaislerova 3-7 0-0 8, Spencer 2-7 1-2 6, R. Jacobson 5-5 0-0 10, Dietz 4-5 2-3 10, Voegeli 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 27-52 5-7 67.

Total fouls: USD 12, NDSU 12. Fouled out: no one. 3-point goals: USD 13-27 (Liveringhouse 2-5, Arens 2-5, Bradley 5-5, McKeever 1-5, Duffy 3-5, Trimboli 0-2), NDSU 8-21 (Nudell 0-1, Thunstedt 2-8, S. Jacobson 1-3, Fernandez 2-3, Gaislerova 2-5, Spencer 1-1). Rebounds: USD 28 (Trimboli 9), NDSU 26 (R. Jacobson 6). Assists: USD 14 (Arens 5), NDSU 20 (Nudell 4, Fernandez 4, R. Jacobson 4). Steals: USD 15 (Trimboli 4), NDSU 5 (five with one). Turnovers: USD 13 (Trimboli 4), NDSU 22 (Fernandez 5). Attendance: 751.