S. Dakota St. 56, South Dakota 53
South Dakota trailed by three when Alexis Yackley went to the
line with 5 seconds left. Yackley’s plan was to make the first foul
shot and miss the second, hoping the Coyotes could grab the rebound
and tie the game.
Yackley improvised when she missed her first free throw,
hustling outside the 3-point arc and throwing up a shot that nearly
sent the Summit League championship into overtime. But the long
attempt was off, giving South Dakota State a 56-53 win.
”It was just kind of like a boxing match the whole entire
night, and time just ran out on us,” Yackley said.
Nicole Seekamp led South Dakota (17-15) with 20 points, and
Tempestt Wilson had 10. The Coyotes shot 36.8 percent from the
”They fought through some adversity,” coach Amy Williams said
of Wilson, Yackley and the team’s other seniors. ”They learned
from our mistakes, and it put them in a position to have a chance
to cut down nets and play for a championship, and I couldn’t be
more proud of their effort.”
Ashley Eide scored seven of her 10 points in the final 5 1/2
minutes for the Jackrabbits, who won the conference tournament for
the fifth consecutive season. Megan Waytashek had 11 points and
Eide hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to give South Dakota State a 50-48
lead with 5:28 left. After Polly Harrington tied it with a layup
for the Coyotes, Eide made two foul shots and Katie Lingle
converted a layup to make it 54-50 with 2:47 to go.
Eide tacked on two more free throws to help South Dakota State
hold on for its sixth consecutive victory this season and the
automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
”In order to win a championship, all of us had to gut it out
and play our toughest, and I think we did that today,” Lingle
South Dakota State shot just 29.1 percent from the field.
Gabrielle Boever led a strong defensive effort, finishing with
”I thought she was great today,” Jackrabbits coach Aaron
Johnston said, praising Boever’s performance.
Sioux Falls Arena is the midway point between South Dakota
State’s campus in Brookings and South Dakota’s home of Vermillion,
but the Jackrabbits had much more support in the women’s tournament
record crowd of 6,153.
The last time the two teams met for a postseason title was in
2003, when the Jackrabbits topped the Coyotes 87-63 in the Division
II North Central Regional in Brookings. South Dakota State went on
to win the Division II championship 65-50 over Northern
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