The SIUE women’s basketball Cougars dropped its season opener Friday, falling to South Dakota 75-68 at the Sanford Pentagon.
SIUE is 0-1. South Dakota is now 1-0.
Nakiah Bell, playing in her first game with the Cougars, paced the offense with 18 points including six three-pointers. She also chipped in a team-high four assists. Lauren White added 16 points and knocked down nine-of-10 free throw attempts. Gwen Adams added seven points and led SIUE with seven rebounds. Adams was four-for-four from the free throw line.
“We know Nakiah has the ability to score,” said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. “And she did a great job when we were coming from behind with her three-point shots.”
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In fact, SIUE enjoyed a strong night at the free throw line, draining 20 of 24 attempts from the line (83.3 percent). The Cougars also shot well from behind the arc, knocking down 10 of 25 (40 percent) three-point attempts.
“We did some good things tonight but we started off slow in the first quarter offensively,” said Buscher.
Overall, the Cougars SIUE connected on 38.8 percent (19-49) of their attempts from the field.
South Dakota’s Allison Arens led all scorers with 28 points. She was one of a trio of Coyotes to score in double figures. Ciara Duffy scored 19 points on seven-of-20 shooting from the field. Jaycee Bradley added 16 points. Allison and older sister Bridget Arens tied for team-high honors with seven rebounds and four assists each.
South Dakota outrebounded SIUE 36-30 for the game.
SIUE continues its season-opening road trip with a Sunday matchup at South Dakota State. Tipoff with the Jackrabbits is set for 2 p.m.