OMAHA, Neb.—South Dakota rebounded from a 17-point hole in the first half and took a 58-57 lead with 3:36 remaining before falling at Omaha 69-61 Thursday night at Sapp Fieldhouse. It was the Coyotes' first loss in four games.
Taijhe Kelly had 24 points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots to lead Omaha (11-14, 3-8 Summit), which has followed seven straight losses with back-to-back wins. Mikaela Shaw added 17 points, including five in a row that put Omaha back in front 62-58 with 1:46 remaining. It was the start of a 10-0 run that won it for the Mavs.
South Dakota (14-12, 5-6) missed 14 of its first 17 shots and scored six points in the game's first 10 minutes. Omaha led 35-18 with four minutes to go in the first half and took a 40-27 lead into halftime. Kelly was 7 of 8 in the first half and had 14 points. Omaha shot 60 percent in the half as a team.
Polly Harrington and Lisa Loeffler combined to score 14 of the Coyotes' first 18 points out of the break as the Coyotes climbed within six at 51-45 midway through the second half. Both finished with 15 points each.
Ericka House made two free throws for Omaha to make it 53-45 before Nicole Seekamp made three consecutive triples that gave USD its first lead of the half, 54-53, with 6:25 to go. Seekamp hit four 3's and had 18 points.
South Dakota started cold and ended cold, scoring five points in the final 5:47 on 2 of 11 shooting. The Coyotes shot 34 percent overall compared to an Omaha team that made better than half its shots (28 of 55).
The Coyotes beat Omaha 75-51 less than a month ago in Vermillion. Kelly and Shaw combined to score 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting in that contest. They were 19 of 29 and netted 41 points Thursday.
South Dakota will play its final road game of the regular season Saturday against Western Illinois. The tip from Macomb is slated for 4:30 p.m.