SMSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: First half run leads USF past SMSU in conference opener

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Southwest Minnesota State wasn’t able to overcome 18 turnovers, while shooting 31 percent from the field, in dropping a 76-58 decision to the University of Sioux Falls in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for both teams at the Stewart Center on Saturday night.

USF (3-1, 1-0 NSIC) used the 18 turnovers to finish with a 20-6 scoring advantage in points off of turnovers. The Cougars committed just six turnovers and connect on 10 3-pointers.

SMSU (1-3, 0-1 NSIC) was led by Meleah Reinhart with 16 points on 5 of 11 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers. Caleigh Rodning recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Erin Baxter added 12 points for the Mustangs.

SMSU finished the game making 15 of 49 field goals, including 5 of 14 from 3-point land.

SMSU trailed 21-18 with eight minutes left in the second quarter following a pair of free throws by Rodning. USF answered with a big 12-0 run over the next four minutes to push the lead to 33-18 and the lead never dipped below double digits the remainder of the game.

SMSU, which finished the game making 23 of 28 free throws, made six of seven in the second quarter, including a pair by Sadie Stelter, to cut the deficit to 37-27 at halftime.

Stelter cut the USF lead to 49-37 just past the midway mark of the third quarter, but again the Cougars answered, this time with eight straight points to push the lead to 57-37.

USF finished the night shooting 39 percent (27 of 70) with 10 3-pointers in 22 attempts. USF also head a 41-40 rebound advantage.

Southwest Minnesota State returns home next Friday, Dec. 1, facing Upper Iowa University with tip-off slated for 4:05 p.m. The game will air live regional television on Midco Sports Network.

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