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South Dakota Gets First GWC Win

Amber Hegge

Amber Hegge

Jan. 21, 2010

Orem, Utah - South Dakota held off Utah Valley, 65-56, on Thursday night at the McKay Center in Great West Conference women's basketball action in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

In a game that was knotted at 28 at the half, the Coyotes (7-8, 1-1) got a big game from Amber Hegge, who finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. She also added six assists and four blocks while connecting on 8-of-12 (.667) from the field. Annie Roche scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Abby Kinder added 12 points for the Coyotes.

The Wolverines (4-16, 0-3) were led by 17 points from Jenna Johnson, who played all but the final 29 seconds after fouling out. Asumi Nakayama played all 40 minutes and finished with 11 points.

UVU got off to a slow start offensively, falling behind 15-5 nine minutes into the game. The Wolverines used a 12-0 run, holding USD without a point for five minutes, to take a 17-15 lead.

South Dakota never trailed in the second half after scoring seven of the first nine points out of the locker room.

The Coyotes were an identical 12-for-26 from the field in each half, finishing at 42.6 percent (24-for-52) for the game. The Wolverines shot 33.3 percent (17-for-51).

In addition, USD's defense held Utah Valley's Julie Smith, the GWC's leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, to just two points.

USD opened the second half on an 11-3 run but UVU cut the lead to 41-35 before the Coyotes built their biggest lead of 55-43 with 5:21 remaining.

Utah Valley then cut the deficit to 57-50 before Kinder delivered big with a three-pointer with two minutes left to extend the USD lead back to double digits at 60-50. The Wolverines never got closer than six the rest of the way.

Utah Valley will now face its first conference road test when the Wolverines hit the road next week for games at Chicago State (Jan. 28) and NJIT (Jan. 30), while the Coyotes' next action is Saturday at North Dakota.