The 3-5 IUPUI Women’s Basketball team entered Monday night’s Summit League action with hopes of breaking a 34 road game losing streak. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for the Jags as they dropped the second game of the weekend, 73-65. The Lady Jags met an equal opponent in the University of South Dakota Coyotes, who shared the same Summit League record of 3-5. However, only the University of South Dakota was rewarded with their fourth conference win of the year at the end of the night.
The first half saw the Jaguars come out fighting as IUPUI and USD traded baskets for the first 14 points of the game. Heading into the matchup the Jaguars knew they would need to shut down South Dakota’s Amber Hegge who averages 17.6 points per game in addition to her 8.5 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, Hegge had already scored 17 points by halftime. Trying to do her own part, IUPUI sophomore Dawn Luster stepped up and scored 14 points in the first half, leading the Jaguars.
In the second half the Coyotes came out looking to put away the Jaguars early. After allowing six early Jaguar points, South Dakota buckled down and went on an 8-1 run, extending the score to 46-34. A Dawn Luster three-point basket salvaged the Lady Jag’s chances and brought the Coyote lead down to nine points. IUPUI would rally behind Luster, cutting the Coyote lead to just three points with five minutes remaining. Despite the Jaguars’ best efforts they could not shut down the Coyotes’ offensive powerhouse, allowing Hegge to score 30 points on the night. Hegge was also joined by 3 of her teammates in double digit scoring.
Luster lead the Jaguars with 22 points, including three strikes from behind the arc, and a team high 4 steals. Freshman Nevena Markovic chipped in 11 points, and Emily Phillips rounded out the double digit scoring with 10 points. Junior Kerah Nelson had a relatively quiet night, only scoring nine points and fouling out with 7:32 left in the game.
With the loss IUPUI will fall to a 3-6 conference record. The Jaguars will continue to search for their first road win since the 2008-09 season when they take on Western Illinois next Friday. Western Illinois also holds a 3-6 conference record.