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Coyotes look to start new winning streak

For the University of South Dakota women’s basketball team, the time to win is now. Unfortunately, the team (11-12)  has lost their last two games and dropped below .500.

Over the past week head coach Amy Williams saw her team drop two crucial conference games, first versus South Dakota State and three nights later versus North Dakota State. The players know they need to get back on track and not panic if they want to reach their goals.

The goal has always been to get as high of a seed as possible, and junior forward Polly Harrington agreed a high seed in the tournament will go a far way.

“We really want to finish strong as see what seed we can get for the tournament,” she said. “You never know what happens in tourney time, but it can never hurt to get as high of a seed as possible.”

Harrington said the team needs to get back to its’ winning ways.

“It’s so important for us to stay focused and get back to wining,” Harrington said. “It will help us get some confidence back at a crucial time.”

The Coyotes had a team high four-game winning streak intact from Jan. 17-26, and are hoping to regain that form in order to get back over the .500 mark. With only six games left on the schedule, everyone is aware that there is not much time left.

“There’s only three weeks or so remaining in the regular season,” Harrington said. “It’s time for us to fix our mistakes and win these next few games.”

USD’s next game is Feb. 9 when they host the University of Kansas City Kangaroos. In the team’s previous meeting versus Kansas City, the Coyotes fell just short, losing by a score of 60-56.

First- year guard Tia Hemiler said the team will focus on shutting down opposing point guard Elise O’Connor, a junior for the Kangaroos, who averages a team high 18.1 points per game.

“She is really good and we’ll have to do all we can to slow her down,” Hemiler said. “She is a very good player and accumulates a lot to their success.”

Harrington said the team is confident heading into this crucial game, believing they can fix a few mistakes.

“We’ll give them a nice attacking zone and give them our all,” Harrington said. “Last time we came out flat and didn’t rebound the ball well. We should be better in those areas this time around.”

Finishing off the season on a high note is important, as the Coyotes want to get as high of seed as possible for the Summit League Tournament, March 9.