Nicole Seekamp missed South Dakota's first two games, losses to Utah and Northern Iowa. She's back now, and the Coyotes mean business. But she still wasn't enough to prevail tonight, as K-State (3-0) sweated out an 82-79 victory in overtime at Bramlage.
Kansas State dominated in the paint, but South Dakota's uncanny marksmanship beyond the arc kept the Coyotes (0-3) in the game right down to the wire, when Kindred Wesemann fouled Nicole Seekamp on a three-point attempt with the Wildcats leading by three and sent the game into overtime.
But then with 16.6 seconds in overtime, Wesemann dispossessed Seekamp and got the out-of-bounds call on replay, and was then fouled coming upcourt; her two free throws put K-State up by four. Fouled again after Seekamp drained a three with 8.8 to go, Wesemann again hit a pair. Seekamp was unable to get a three and settled for two with only two seconds left; once more, Wesemann sank both, and that was that.
South Dakota's Caitlin Duffy, a transfer from Colorado State, was 7-13 from downtown to account for all of her 21 points, and Summit League preseason player of the year Nicole Seekamp recorded a double-double with 20 points, 10 assists, and added 8 rebounds too. But the Wildcats had a decisive 42-14 edge in the paint, countering the 16 threes the Coyotes dropped. Steals were again a key factor for K-State, as the Cats dispossessed South Dakota 14 times on the night.
Wesemann was the star for the Wildcats, who have had a rotating cast of number ones paired with Breanna Lewis. Wesemann popped four treys herself and went 12-12 from the line on the way to a career high and Wildcat season high 28-point night, adding seven assists, while Lewis had 22 and seven rebounds. Megan Deines, Monday's star, wasn't silent either; she scored 17 before leaving very late with an ankle injury, the extent of which remains unknown.
A special shout-out is due to Antoinette Taylor, who only had four minutes of floor time. But NeNe made the most of it, scoring four points and dishing a pair of assists.
At the end of the day, this will be a good win; South Dakota is off to a rough start, but this is a talented team with shooters and a real force in Seekamp. They're probably going to win the Summit League, so don't sell tonight short.
The good times are over now, though. Monday night, on ESPN3 and SNY (if you get that channel), K-State heads to the XL Center in Hartford to be murdered at the hands of the Connecticut Huskies. The Wildcats are showing a lot of promise this year, but it would be foolish to expect anything more than a solid effort and a respectable loss Monday.