South Dakota stumps Panther women, 87-67

VERMILLION, S.D. – A cold spell stuffed the Northern Iowa women’s basketball team into a hole it could not climb out of as South Dakota thumped the Panthers 87-67 on Tuesday night at the DakotaDome.

Raeshel Contreras came off the bench to score a season-high 21 points for South Dakota (6-5), which won its fourth straight. Polly Harrington added 18 points as the Coyotes got double-digit scoring from four players.

South Dakota led 23-10 after Northern Iowa (3-7) started 5-of-20 from the field, and the Panthers never rebounded from the double-figure deficit.

Jen Keitel came off the bench to lead the Panthers with 16 points, five blocked shots, four assists and two steals. UNI was just 5-for-23 from 3-point range and suffered its fifth loss in its last six games.

South Dakota, which led 35-22 at the break, knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to open the second half and sped away. Northern Iowa got as close as 11 points, 68-57, with 6:08 remaining but the Coyotes quickly pulled back in front by as many as 22.

The Panthers are off until Dec. 21, when they go to Dekalb, Ill., for their final non-conference contest. Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois face off at 1 p.m.