WBB: Cougars down Truman State

SIOUX FALLS – Senior Kaely Hummel tied a career-high 29 points as the No. 18 University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Team (10-2) closed its nonconference schedule by rallying for a 79-62 win over Truman State (5-3) at the Stewart Center on Wednesday night at the Stewart Center.

The Cougars, which finished 7-0 in the nonconference this season, outscored Truman State, 48-25, in the second half to earn the win in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. As a result, USF heads back into conference play on Saturday (2 pm, Dec. 21) at Southwest Minnesota State with a victory. The Cougars ended a two-game slide and moved to 10-2 on the season.

In her 102nd career game, Hummel moved into sixth place on USF’s career scoring chart with her career-tying performance. With the 29 points, she passed Taylor Varsho, 1,379, 2014-16; and Dawn Morrison, 1,398, 1999-94, and now has 1,401 points. She is just one point from the top-five all-time at USF as Laura Johnson had 1,402 points in 115 games from 2010-14.

“We came out slow but give Truman State credit. They are a good physical team who really played well in first half. Every time we made a mistake they made us pay. But we battled and were down just six at halftime,” said USF Head Coach Travis Traphagen, who earned his 227 career win. “I thought we played a complete game in the second half. We really shared the basketball and found another gear in the final two quarters. And, Hummel was Hummel. She started to light it up. I was really pleased to play the way we did in the second half,” said Traphagen.

In her performance, Hummel, a Cherokee, Iowa native, was 10-of-15 from the floor which included making 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range and knocking in all four of her free throws. She matched her career-best total of 29 set on Jan. 13 2018 against Minnesota Crookston, also at the Stewart Center. Hummel, who missed both of her threes in the first half, made all five of her treys in the third and fourth quarters.

The Cougars, which had a 25-5 edge in fast-break points and a 25-8 margin in bench points, outscored TSU, 28-15 in the third quarter and then 20-10 in the fourth quarter to earn the nonconference win.

USF also had double digits from senior guard Mariah Szymanski, who totaled 11 points with six assists and three rebounds. Szymanski has scored in double digits in 10 straight games and 44 times in her career. Senior guard Augusta Thramer added 11 points as she hit 4-of-4 from the field and knocked in her only three-point shot. Thramer also had four rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard Hannah Jones was the fourth USF player in double digit points with 10 and had a steal and a rebound. Also USF had four points and a game-high 10 rebounds from Jacey Huinker, who now has double digits rebounds for the second straight game, fourth time this season and the 22nd time in her career.

For the game, USF made 28-of-54 shots for 51.9 which ties a season-best (Emporia State, 11-19-19). After shooting just, 9-of-22 for 40.9 percent in the first two quarters, USF hit 11-of-18 shots in the third quarter for 61.1 percent and then made 8-of-14 field goals for 57.1 percent. As a result, USF was 19-of-32 for 59.3 in the final two quarters. USF didn’t hit a 3-pointer in the opening 20 minutes but made 8-of-12 after halftime.

TSU, which led USF 34-21 with 4:39 to play in the second quarter, was led in scoring by guard Hannah Belanger with 20 points as she made 6-of-6 from 3-point range. Overall, TSU was 9-of-17 from distance and 23-of-52 from the field for 44.2 percent. The Cougars had the rebound edge, 29-27, and forced the visitors in 19 turnovers which included 10 steals.

Scoring Recap –

TSU, which outscored USF 21-to-0 from three-point range in the first half, opened up an 11-0 lead on two inside baskets and two three-point baskets (7:23). Then, Anna Goodhope, who had six points on the night, ended the run with an inside jumper with seven minutes to play. After two foul shots by Hummel and two by Thramer, USF cut the lead to 12-6 with 4:16 to play. A basket by Jones cut the lead to 19-15 and after a TSU three, she closed the quarter by knocking in two foul shots as the Cougars trailed 19-15 despite shooting just 3-of-8 from the field. USF stayed close by making 9-of-10 shots from the foul line to offset seven made baskets (17 attempts) including a trio of treys by TSU.

In the second quarter, TSU opened on a 15-6 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 34-21 with 4:39 left in the quarter. USF closed the half with solid defense and solid offense from Hummel, who finished with 10 points at the break. With an inside basket from Hummel with 31 seconds left, the Cougars used a 10-3 run to reduce the lead to 37-31 at the break. Belanger had 15 points to lead all scorers in the opening half. TSU was 7-of-14 shots for 50 percent and knocked in 4-of-6 threes in the second quarter. USF shot better in the second quarter at 42.9 percent shooting (6-14) and made 4-of-4 foul shots. The Cougars stayed with six points at the break with a large advantage at the foul line – 13-2.

During the second half, USF took control as the senior guard trio of Hummel, Szymanski and Thramer led the way. Hummel opened the second half with a three to cut the lead to 37-34 at the 9:30 mark. After TSU scored five straight, Hummel knocked down another three to cut the lead to 42-37 at the 8:13 mark. Then, Jones scored on a fast-break basket to cut the lead to 42-39.

Later as part of a 10-0 run, USF took the lead for the first time on a Szymanski basket (46-44, 6:10, 3rd) and Hummel’s three helped USF to a 49-44 lead with 5:33 on the clock. USF, which hit 11-of-18 shots in the quarter for 61.1 percent, never trailed again. With a 28-15 edge in the quarter, USF led 59-52 at the break. TSU was 6-of-13 for 46.2 percent in the third quarter but failed to make a three on three attempts. USF had 4-of-6 conversions from deep.

Hummel continued to dial it in from long distance as her three extended USF’s lead to 62-52 with 7:38 left in the fourth quarter. But she wasn’t done as she added another trey (7:00) and a two-pointer as USF took a 67-52 advantage with 5:47 on the clock. From there, USF pushed the lead to 20 (77-57) on a triple from Jessie Geer with 1:59 to play.