SIOUX FALLS – Kaely Hummel scored 19 points and Jessie Geer had a season-high 17 as the No. 14 University of Sioux Falls Women's Basketball (15-2, 8-2 NSIC) ran their winning streak to six games with a 74-68 victory over Concordia St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play on Saturday at the Stewart Center.
With their winning streak at six games, the nationally-ranked Cougars have improved to 15-2 overall and 8-2 for first place in the NSIC South Division. The Cougars have matched the 2016-17 team for the best start in the school's DII program history at 15-2. In addition, USF leads the NSIC South by two games and is just one game from the overall lead (Minnesota Duluth, 9-1). Also the win over the Golden Bears gives USF a sweep of CSP and three wins in the past four games.
In earning his 232nd career win, Traphagen was pleased with the win but knows his team must continue to work hard and find ways to improve.
"As good as we played yesterday, today wasn't as good. We had some really good runs and then times when we missed easy baskets and didn't lock down on rebounds. Concordia is a good team and they played hard," said Traphagen, who now has led USF to five-game or better winning streaks 19 times in his career. "That said, we grinded out a tough win but didn't finish as we should have. We can learn from this and we will get better," he said.
USF, which led by as many as 18 points (second quarter, :11 seconds to play), opened a 15-7 lead after the first quarter. With a 27-20 advantage in the second quarter, USF took a 42-27 lead to the halftime break. CSP outscored USF, 16-14, in the third quarter as they drew within 56-43 after three quarters. And, the Golden Bears also outscored USF, 25-18, in the fourth quarter as they cut the lead to five points with 27 seconds to play.
Hummel finished the weekend with 46 points and has 1,499 in her career, a total which ranks fourth all-time in program history. She followed up a 27-point game against Minnesota State by dropping in 19 points against CSP. While she was 4-of-15 from the field, she made all 10 of her free throws. And, with another three, she has 241 in her career.
Geer recorded her third double-digit scoring game in four contests with a season-high 17 points. She was 6-of-14 from the floor and made 5-of-7 free throws while grabbing six rebounds and registering two steals. USF also had nine points and five rebounds from Anna Goodhope while sophomore guard Hannah Jones supplied eight points, five rebounds, and an assist.
Overall, USF made 23-of-66 shots for 34.8 percent. After making 13 threes last night, the Cougars hit on just 4-of-15 for 26.7 percent against CSP. However, USF converted 24-of-30 free throws for 80 percent. The Golden Bears also had issues on offense as they made 25-of-64 field goals for 39.1 percent. They were 7-of-18 for 38.9 percent from 3-point range but had 13 less free throws than USF (11-of-15), which proved to be a difference.
USF's defense continued to be a strength for the Cougars. They forced 16 turnovers which included seven steals. As a result, they had an 18-to-4 advantage in points from turnovers. While CSP held a 34-28 advantage of points in the paint, the Cougars had a 22-14 margin on fast breaks and a 31-14 advantage off the bench.
After hitting just 4-of-16 from the field, USF took a 15-7 lead over CSP at the first quarter break. Key to USF grabbing the lead was making 7-of-7 from the foul line. USF trailed early 6-3 but rebounded with a 6-0 run, including a fast-break basket from Jones, for a 9-6 lead (4:25, 1st). Then, USF extended their advantage to 13-7 when Geer converted a fast-break lay-up at the 2:35 mark. With Hummel connecting on two foul shots, the Cougars led 15-7 at the break.
After USF took a 24-11 lead in the second quarter, CSP had a run of 8-2 to cut the deficit to 26-19 (4:55). After a CSP three cut the lead to six points, Goodhope hit a three for a 31-22 lead at 3:24. With 2:22 left, Lauren Sanders hit a three as USF took a 34-22 lead. When Andie Mataloni came up the bench to hit a three with just six seconds left, USF led by 18 (42-24) but CSP had a three of its own from Jadyn Hansen as the buzzer sounded to keep CSP within 42-27. In the quarter, USF was a solid 9-of-17 for 52.9 percent and converted 4-of-7 three-pointers and 5-of-6 foul shots. CSU made 7-of-18 shots for 38.9 percent and knocked home 3-of-6 from deep.
The Golden Bears, which made just 6-of-16 shots for 37.5 percent, had a slight 16-14-point edge against the Cougars in the third quarter. The Cougars shot just 6-of-19 for 31.6 percent and missed all five of their threes and 5-of-7 free throws as they led, 56-43, as the fourth quarter began.
Hummel knocked in a jumper at the 8:55 mark to give USF a 58-45 lead. But CSP would continue to make runs at the Cougars, who hit just 4-of-14 field goals for 28.6 percent in the fourth quarter and failed in its only three point shot. However, USF's consistency at the foul line provided important. By going 10-of-10 they kept CSP away.
While trailing most of the quarter by 9-13 points, CSP did make a charge. The first of two fourth quarter threes from Daniel Schaub, who had 12 points, cut USF's advantageto 66-60 with 2:21 to play. But USF senior guard Augusta Thramer, who had seven points, four rebounds and two assists, made two foul shots to move to the lead to 68-60. Then after Schaub hit another three, Geer hit a pair of foul shots for a 72-65 advantage with 25 seconds left. From there, CSP could draw within only six points at 74-68 as the Cougars earned their second sweep against CSP.