SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) –The Cougars overcame poor shooting in the first half against Northern State on Saturday, but were unable to hold onto the lead as they fell 64-57. In the first half USF shot 17.1% from the field and trailed at half by eight points. The Cougars second half shooting was a different story as they shot 57.1% to bring their shooting percentage for the game to 34.9%.
With 12:27 to go in the first half, NSU's Rachel Krogman made a layup off of a Kara Hofschild pass to give the Wolves a five point lead.
The Cougars then stormed back with a 7-0 run which was capped off when Bailey Bouman's three-point shot was good. The assist on the play was credited to Chrissy Strassburg.
The Wolves ended the half with a run of their own, scoring ten of the last twelve points in the half. Northern State also held USF scoreless in the final 3:04 of the first period.
USF stormed out of the gate in the second half as they regained the lead thanks to a 14-3 run to open the period. The run ended with a three-point shot by Laura Johnson which gave the Cougars a one-point lead with just over 16 minutes left in the game. The three-point shot was the 209th in Johnson's career and gave her the most career three-point makes in USF history.
The Cougar women then extended their lead to eight points with 8:37 left when Amber Paden took a Jaicee Ulmer pass and put it in the hoop.
Northern State then fought back with a 20-4 run which gave them a 56-48 lead with under two minutes left.
Chrissy Strassburg helped close the gap with two late three-point shots, but it failed to be enough as the Wolves took the victory by a final score of 64-57.
The Cougars were led by Taylor Varsho who scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but was unable to finish the game as she fouled out with over four minutes left.
Laura Johnson and Jaicee Ulmer joined Varsho in the double-digits as they scored 12 and 10 points respectively for USF.
The Wolves Alison Kusler led all scorers with her 26 points.
For the second night in a row, the Cougars were out rebounded significantly when the Wolves grabbed 56 rebounds to the Cougars 33.
USF will take to the road this upcoming weekend as they take on Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State starting on January 10.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls