VERMILLION, S.D.(KWSN) —Junior guard Raeshel Contreras came off the bench to score a season-high 21 points to lead South Dakota to an 87-67 win against Northern Iowa Tuesday night inside the DakotaDome. The Coyotes (6-5) have won four in a row while the Panthers (3-7) have lost five of six.
Contreras led four Coyotes who reached double figures. Polly Harrington had a season-high 18 points, Tia Hemiller added 11. Margaret McCloud scored all 10 of her points in the second half.
UNI got a team-high 16 points off its bench by Jen Keitel, who also had five blocks, four assists and two steals. Madison Weeky added 11 points for the Panthers.
UNI started 4 of 20 from the field with five turnovers and found itself trailing 23-10 with six minutes to go in the first half. The Panthers never recovered and trailed by at least nine points the rest of the way.
Harrington made four buckets in a span of four minutes and had 12 first-half points. The Coyotes shot 43 percent in the first half (14 of 32), allowed UNI one offensive rebound and took a 35-22 lead into the break.
Contreras scored 15 points after halftime. She nailed three 3-pointers in the second half and finished 3 of 7 from behind the arc. Both teams shot close to 50 percent in the second stanza. UNI cut a 21-point deficit down to 11 with six minutes to go, but McCloud converted a three-point play and Lisa Loeffler got an easy layup off a pass from Contreras to push the lead back to 16.
South Dakota made 16 of 17 free throws and out-rebounded UNI 44-28. The Panthers were 12 of 16 from the line and made 5 of 15 three-pointers in the second half after turning in a 0 for 8 effort in the first half.
South Dakota improved to 3-0 at the DakotaDome this season. The Coyotes return to the court Thursday, Dec. 19, against College of St. Mary in Vermillion.