Coyotes cruise past Marquette in home opener
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Coyotes cruise past Marquette in home opener

After losing its last three games, the women’s Coyote basketball team was looking for win Monday night in the DakotaDome.

A win is what the team earned at its home opener of the season, beating out Marquette 97-69 after a rough first half and an intense second half.

“The second half almost made up for the last 20 seconds of the first half. I was really pleased to see we came back to what Coyote basketball means to us – being able to share the basketball,” said USD head coach Amy Williams. “… We knew that taking care of the basketball was critical, so 29 assists and 11 turnovers is very important for our team.”

The team started out a little shaky, with the first few minutes of the game filled with turnovers. Later on in the second quarter, the Coyotes went on a 7-0 run, but in the last two seconds of the fist half Marquette’s Danielle King scored a layup.

At the end of the half, Marquette had two freshmen that led in scoring, King with nine points followed by Natisha Hiedeman with eight points.

“They have an incredibly talented freshmen class and sometimes you have to work through those growing pains while those kids learn,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, senior guards Nicole Seekamp and Tia Hemiller both had nine points. Seekamp also had three assists, while Hemiller had five rebounds.

“They (Marquette) are a team that can come back. We didn’t end so well in the first half, so we knew we had to come out with an aggressive attitude and not let them get the feeling they can come back into it,” Seekamp said. “We started the half out well and it led us through until the end of the game.”

During the third quarter, the Coyotes came out strong and produced 33 points in that time. The third quarter boosted the team to hold onto the lead, ending the game 97- 69. Twelve players contributed to the 97 points.

“It is huge that we got 40 points off the bench. We are all starting to rely on each other and we are starting to get a trust between each other,” Hemiller said.

The team was well balanced with 44 points in the paint and 36 points from the three-point line.

“I felt we had a good mix, last game it was a lot of outside shots against K-State and this time we got a lot of points in the paint,” Seekamp said. “We had a good mix of where shots were coming from and I think that’s going to a big thing for us. We have people that can score in multiple ways and multiple areas on the court.”

At the end of the game, Marquette had three players score in double digits – freshman Allazia Blockton with 10, followed by junior McKayla Yentz with 11 points and Hiedeman with 18. Sophomore Shantelle Valentine led the team with seven rebounds.

“They are going to be a good team and they are a good team now. They are good shooters and they are aggressive, which is good to see in a young team,” Seekamp said. “Every game they are going to get better and better.”

The Coyotes had four players score double digits. Senior center Margret McCloud had 10 points and junior guard Jasmine Trimboli had 11 points. Hemiller ended the game with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Seekamp had a double double with 16 points and 12 assists.

“Lots of those new kids coming in, like Jamine Trimboli, played aggressive and asserted herself. She is very solid with the basketball and makes plays happen for us,” Williams said.

The Coyotes improve to 1-4 with the win over Marquette, dropping them to 0-4. USD heads to Boca Raton, Fla., for a game on Friday and Saturday.