Women end time in DakotaDome on high note, look toward end of season
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Women end time in DakotaDome on high note, look toward end of season

An 80-75 Coyote win over South Dakota State University Saturday closed out an era of women’s basketball in the DakotaDome.

From the start it could’ve been anyone’s game, with both teams trading baskets and scrambling for loose balls. Going into the second half the Coyotes led the Jackrabbits by just one point, starting out the second half 34-33.

In the second half, the Coyotes leapt out to a small lead, which they kept for the rest of the game. The defining moment of the game came late in the fourth quarter when SDSU closed the gap to just one point and then stayed within five points for the last few minutes.

An aggressive Coyote defense held SDSU at bay, though, and USD came away from the game with their second win this season against their in-state rival.

“We’re trying not to get too overwhelmed by it,” said senior guard Nicole Seekamp. “A win’s a win and we went into this game not trying to get the season sweep. We were just going at it like any other game and we came out on top and that’s what we wanted.”

In the final moments of the game, Seekamp, who scored 21 points and had 10 assists, was sent to the free throw line. She said the thought that those shots were some of her last in the DakotaDome came to her mind.

“I’ve shot from that free throw line thousands of times so I didn’t really feel too much pressure,” she said. “I just went out there and knocked it down and just kind of lived in the moment — just kind of cherished the moment because that’s probably going to be the last one in the DakotaDome.”

With their 12th consecutive win, the Coyotes need one more win in the regular season to clench the Summit League regular season title. Saturday was also the Coyotes’ first sweep over the Jackrabbits since the 1989-1990 season. USD holds the tie-breaker over South Dakota State (22-5, 12-2) for the regular season title and tournament seeding.

Saturday also marked a milestone for USD head coach Amy Williams, who became the second most-winning coach in program history with the win.

“We came here with goals of winning championships and that’s something that will always be a goal of ours,” Williams said. “It’s not the only goal and it’s not the end all, be all (goal), but for us certainly we set out wanting to win championships so each and every game is a game where we feel we need to protect that and take it very seriously and play it like a championship game.”

USD will take on Fort Wayne Thursday in Indiana. Senior guard Kelly Stewart said the Coyotes will be taking the next two games in the same stride they’ve been playing all season — one game at a time.

“You just have to win one game at a time. If you go and think ahead to the next game you might take one for granted, you know, you might mess up so we’re still taking it one game at a time,” Stewart said. “It was awesome to get the win today and now we’re just focusing on our next one and trying to build from there.”