It was arguably the biggest stretch of home games at the Division I level for the University of South Dakota women’s basketball team.
And now that the dust has settled on the 3-1 week, we can look back at what made it successful.
In order, here are the results (with attached P&D stories from Keith Brockberg).
First, you have to look at the return of leading scorer Amber Hegge, who had been out with a fractured left elbow. That’s right, fractured. The Crofton, Neb., native returned for
the Santa Clara game and proceeded to score 20, 21 and 16 points over the next three games. When she’s in there, USD presents matchup problems for many teams, as Hegge is a quality slasher and outside shooter. She’s often double-teamed, which leaves people like Annie Roche, Tempestt Wilson and Jodie Boss uncovered.
Secondly, look at the scores for the opposing teams. What you’ll notice is that USD put together a string of four nice defensive efforts, aside from Creighton — which was ranked No. 16 in the mid-major poll last week. In the other three games, the Coyotes held the
visitors to under 37 percent shooting. The high point was 30.9% against Division II Upper Iowa. Defense has become a staple of the Ryun Williams system in Vermillion, as his players really pressure the wings and can rely on shot-blockers Boss and reserve Stacia Robertson in the post.
After the four-game homestand, the Coyotes hit the road this week for games at Northern Iowa on Tuesday and Northern Arizona on Thursday. It begins a stretch of seven games on the road over the next nine contests.