Women’s Basketball Defeated at South Dakota, 73-56
VERMILLION, S.D. – NAU got double-digit scoring efforts from senior Caty Huntington and junior Amy Patton, but the Lumberjacks went just 3-14 from the free throw line and South Dakota received 30 points and eight rebounds from senior Amber Hegge to record a 73-56 win over the Lumberjacks on Friday night. NAU moved to 2-2 on the season while the Coyotes won their season opener.
"South Dakota is very good at home and they came out of the gates strong while we came out a little slow," said NAU head coach Laurie Kelly. "They just did not miss very many shots, and Hegge was just really hard for us to handle. I thought we didn't have as much energy as we had and in our last two games and it's hard to win on the road against good teams."
South Dakota jumped on the Lumberjacks early, scoring the first-five points of the game and opening up a 15-6 lead before the first official timeout. NAU would respond with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to three at the 13:12 mark of the opening half, but that would be the closest that the Lumberjacks would get. South Dakota shot 63% in the opening half, getting as big a lead as 13 points before NAU baskets from sophomore Shay May and Patton would put the halftime Coyote advantage at 43-34.
Huntington opened the second half with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to six, but South Dakota responded with an 11-0 run to build a 17 point advantage. The home team would maintain its double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest, going up by as many 21 points with 2:33 remaining in the game. The Lumberjacks held the Coyotes scoreless after going down 73-52, with a three-pointer from sophomore Patricia Gortarez and a free throw from junior Paige Haynes closing the scoring at 73-56.
After shooting 72% from the free throw line through their first-three games, the Lumberjacks made just three free throws and shot 21% from the line in the loss. NAU shot 40% from the field while South Dakota shot 53% and connected on 10 three-pointers. The Lumberjacks were narrowly outrebounded 35-34, the first time this season that they have not won the rebounding battle. NAU committed a season-low 13 turnovers in the game while South Dakota had just 14 giveaways.
Patton finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, but was just 5-14 from the field. Huntington had 10 points and made two of three shots from three-point range, and sophomore Khyra Conerly finished with eight points and a team-high three assists and three steals. Hegge scored her 30 points on just 17 shots and was one of three South Dakota players to make a trio of three-pointers.
With her 11 points, Patton moved her career total to 1,079, moving past Lea Ann Evers (1,073) into eighth place on the NAU all-time scoring list. She needs just nine more points to jump to sixth.
The Lumberjacks will play at Iowa State, which is 2-0 and receiving votes in both national top-25 polls, on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Arizona time.