Nov. 30, 2014
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MILWAUKEE - A late three-point play from the Marquette University women's basketball team's (2-4) freshman guard Kenisha Bell put the Golden Eagles ahead 65-63, but the late rally fell short as South Dakota defeated MU, 69-65, Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.
After Bell's play, South Dakota's (4-2) Tia Hemiller drove the length of the court to answer. Coyote's guard Raeshel Contreras then stole the ensuing inbound pass and was fouled on her shot attempt and connected on both to give USD a 67-65 lead, which led to the Coyotes' victory.
After trailing by as much as nine in the first half and 30:18 total in the game, Bell scored nine of her team-high 22 points in the last ten minutes of the game. Senior guard Arlesia Morse had a chance to tie the game, but her floater from the left block rimmed out with two seconds left to play.
Bell's total eclipsed a new career high for the freshman, passing her previous high of 21 points last game against Milwaukee.
Morse gave the Golden Eagles a spark after her technical free throws kicked off a 10-0 run as part of a 14-4 run to begin the second half. Then Morse and freshman guard Hannah Grim hit back-to-back treys from the right side of the floor and redshirt junior center Lauren Tibbs followed up with her first bucket of the game cutting MU's deficit to just two at 33-31.
Morse's strongest play of the run gave MU its first lead of the game at 34-33 with under 16 minutes left after she hauled down an offensive rebound over USD's forwards and put it back in, while drawing a foul. However, the Coyotes recovered as Nicole Seekamp hit a corner three and Contreras drew an "and one" to allow USD to regain the lead at 39-36.
Morse finished with 11 points, all coming in the second half.
The Coyotes jumped out to a quick 7-0 start after wiping the glass on the defensive end and passing the ball up to leading scorer Contreras who scored two fast break baskets and two deep threes in the first two minutes of the game. South Dakota led by as much as nine points early in the contest.
Contreras provided USD's firepower throughout the afternoon and finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-19 shooting and 3-8 from three.
Marquette found its footing after Bell entered the game and hit two three's from the left wing. After freshman guard Tia Elbert hit a pull-up jumper at the top of the key USD's lead was cut 20-16 at the under eight timeout.
After starting the game 5-8 from the field and a perfect 2-2 from three, the Coyotes finished the first half shooting just 35%. Despite their defensive efforts, Marquette found itself trailing 29-20 at the break due to a 26.9% shooting percentage in the first half.
The Golden Eagles reserves accounted for 33 of 65 total points, outpacing USD's bench by 23.
After getting to the line just three times in the first half, the Golden Eagles attempted 19 foul shots in the final 20 minutes, connecting on 18 of 22 overall.
Sophomore McKayla Yentz and Grim made their first career starts, while Tibbs also made her first appearance in the starting lineup this season. Tibbs set a new career high in rebounds with 15 and also chipped in four points.
MU makes a stop down in Auburn when they take on the Tigers on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. Central time before returning to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in Madison on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m C.T.