Lady Leathernecks fall to South Dakota

Will Thomas, Courier Staff

Vermillion, S.D. – Western Illinois (11-6, 2-4) traveled to Vermillion to take on the South Dakota Coyotes (14-4, 8-0) for their first conference road game of the year on Thursday night. The leathernecks kept it close in the first half but a 17-2 run by the Coyotes in the third quarter helped them take the 70-53 victory.

Danni Nichols started strong rattling off 5 straight points for the leathernecks helping them jump out to an early 9-4 lead midway in the first quarter. The Coyotes used a 13-3 run to end the quarter to give them a 17-12 lead after the first quarter.

South Dakota would increase their lead up to 9 the midway through the second before Western’s offense went on a 12-2 run to take a 30-29 halftime lead. The leathernecks shot 80% (8-10) from the free-throw line in the first half.

The Leathernecks would hold the lead till the 7:21 mark before the Coyotes would take the lead for good. The Coyotes would use a 17-2 in the third and pull away for good.

Danni Nichols led all Leatherneck scorers with 14 points, Elizabeth Lutz chipped 12 points and 7 rebounds. Evan Zars sets a new season-high with 17 rebounds to go along with her 8 points.

Western Illinois continues their road trip as they head to Brookings, South Dakota on Saturday, January 22nd to take on South Dakota St.