NSIC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Short-Handed Sioux Falls Stopped By Duluth

Coo eliminated 78-64
Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 11:46 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A shorthanded University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Team (8-6) rallied late but fell short in a 78-64 loss to Minnesota Duluth (11-1) in the NSIC Sanford-Health Postseason Tourney which kicked off on Thursday morning at the Pentagon.

USF, which played without All-NSIC First Team guard Anna Brecht and freshman guard Megan Fannin, had its season draw to a close at 8-6 after the setback to UMD. The Bulldogs advanced to the NSIC semifinals where they face the winner of the Concordia St. Paul/Bemidji State game on Saturday at 10 am.

“It was a good game for us but we were hurt by a couple of UMD’s runs in the first quarter and third quarter,” said USF Head Coach Travis Traphagen, whose team is now 15-8 in NSIC Tourney games. “I think the thing I am appreciative is that we played hard all day. We kept fighting back and had some opportunities to cut further into it. But  this group was battling throughout and that is really representative of this group all year. They don’t give up. Give UMD credit, they are a good team and led by an All American – Brooke Olson, who made some big shots for them. Still, I am proud of my team for their resilience this game and all season,” he said.

In the loss, senior forward Anna Goodhope had a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds as well as a career-high seven assists with two steals in 37 minutes. Goodhope now has 31 career double-digit point games at USF and has 869 career points. With two three-pointers, she has 102 in her career with USF (122 overall).

Senior Lauren Sanders had 11 points and six rebounds with three assists. Sanders hit 3-of-6 three pointers as she now has 14 double-digit scoring games and 117 career three-pointers. In 29 minutes’ junior forward Krystal Carlson had 10 points and three rebounds despite being limited by foul trouble. She also extended her double-digit scoring games to 13 for her career.

Senior forward Amanda Dagostino came off the bench to provide a spark as she recorded a career-high 10 points with three rebounds, two steals and two assists. Dagostino had her career-first double-digit scoring game. Also for USF junior Kiara James had a season-high eight points with two rebounds. Freshman guard Madison Wuebben had her first career start and contributed four points and a rebound.

UMD was led by Olson, who was the NSIC North Player of the Year, with 31 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes. She hit 12-of-21 shots and was 5-of-8 from three. Also for UMD, Ann Simonet added 11 points, including 3-of-3 from three-point range, while Payton Kahl and Maesyn Thiesen had 10 points apiece.

Key to this game was a shooting differential which UMD used to its advantage. For the game, USF was 25-of-62 from the field for 40.3 percent and made 7-of-21 from three-point range for 33.3 percent.  The Bulldogs, the league’s top shooting team from the field, hit 28-of-62 field goals for 45.2 percent and knocked in 10-of-21 from three-point range as well as 12-of-13 from the foul line.

Clearly the difference in threes (10-to-7), free throws (12-to-7) and rebounds (39-to-33), played a key role in the end result. UMD also had a 10-to-5 edge in second chance points which offset USF’s advantage in the paint, 32-to-26. USF’s also had a 11-to-6 margin in fast break points and 20-to-8 margin in bench scoring but the shooting differential proved to be the most significant factor in the game.

Game Breakdown -

UMD jumped to a 23-17 lead after the first quarter and outscored USF, 17-11, in the second quarter for a 40-28 halftime lead. In the opening quarter, UMD led, 11-2 before USF rallied back to 21-14 after Goodhope hit a pair of free throws. Through one quarter USF was 6-of-14 for 42.9 percent and hit 4-of-4 free throws. UMD was 8-of-18 for 44.4 percent and 5-of-8 from the three-point line. UMD had a 12-6 lead in rebounds. USF was within 25-19 at the 8:54 mark of the second quarter but struggled on offense. USF was just 5-of-15 for 33.3 percent and made just 1-of-6 from three as UMD took a 40-28 halftime lead. At the break, USF was 11-of-29 from the field and 2-of-9 from three. UMD was 16-of-37 from the field for 43.2 percent and had six threes. While USF was stuck at below 35 percent shooting, UMD was 16-of-37 for 43.2 percent and hey had 6-of-15 from three.

In the third quarter, UMD opened quickly and took a 52-30 lead over a Simonek three with 6:26 to play. At that point, USF started to battle back. Sanders hit back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to 52-36 with 4:49 to play in the third quarter. While UMD had a 23-20 edge in the quarter, USF cut the lead to 61-48 with 44 seconds to play on a three from Dagostino. With two foul shots from Kahl, UMD extended the lead to 63-48. In the third, USF had its best quarter of the game by hitting 7-of-16 field goals for 43.75 percent and making 3-of-6 from three-point range. However, UMD was able to extend their lead by hitting 7-of-12 field goals for 58.33 percent and knocking in 2-of-3 from distance.

In the fourth quarter, USF made the game even more interesting. USF, which made 7-of-17 field goals for 41.18 percent, cut the lead to eight points twice. First, USF drew within 66-58 after Dallie Hoskinson, who finished with five points and five rebounds, hit a triple. USF had two possessions to cut the lead again but dropped down by 10. But shortly thereafter, USF was within 68-60 after Dagostino’s jumper with 4:22 to play. Again USF had a possession to cut the lead but couldn’t convert a couple of good looks at the basket.

After USF turned the ball over at the 3:50 mark, Olson steadied things for the Bulldogs and put a dagger in USF’s hopes by hitting a three-pointer as she found an opening in USF’s defense. After that the Cougars were unable to answer and baskets by Olson and Sarah Grow pushed the lead back to 15 (17-60, 2:26, 4th quarter) and the two teams emptied the benches to close the game.

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