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USU basketball: Aggies host South Dakota in Women's Basketball Invitational Thursday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 18 2013 10:51 p.m. MDT

Utah State women's basketball will have its season extended as the Aggies will host South Dakota in the Women's Basketball Invitational on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. (MT) at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Aggies are the third seed in the WBI West Region and will take on sixth-seeded USD. South Dakota is 17-15 this season. The Coyotes lost to rival South Dakota State, 56-53, in the Summit League Championship game. Nicole Seekamp leads the Coyotes in scoring averaging 14.2 points per game. Tempestt Wilson is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 ppg.

This is the third-straight season that Utah State has advanced to the postseason with back-to-back Women's National Invitation Tournament berths. Last season, the Aggies fell in the first round of the WNIT to in-state rival Utah, 69-58. In 2011, USU defeated Arizona, 103-95, for the first USU win in a postseason game since the AIAW Championship in 1977. The Aggies fell in the second round to BYU, 102-63, in Provo, giving USU a 1-2 WNIT record.

This is the second time this season that the Aggies and the Coyotes have met in the Spectrum. On Dec. 20, Utah State snapped a five-game losing streak with a 70-69 win over South Dakota. Senior guard Devyn Christensen drilled a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to propel USU to victory. The Dec. 20 match-up was the first meeting in the all-time series between the Aggies and Coyotes.

Four different Aggies were in double digits in scoring led by 25 points by Christensen. It was her seventh 20-point game this season. Senior guard Jenna Johnson added 16 points, while junior guard Jennifer Schlott scored 12 points and added a career-high eight assists.

Three different Coyotes scored in double figures with Wilson scoring 18. Margaret McCloud had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Seekamp added 14 points and eight boards.

South Dakota has experience in the WBI, defeating 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament Champion Idaho in the first round in 2011.

This is the fourth edition of the WBI with Minnesota taking the championship in 2012, while 2013 WAC regular-season champion, Seattle, made the WBI's final four last season. In 2011, UAB captured the crown with Appalachian State winning the inaugural WBI in 2010.

The winner of the USU-USD game will take on the winner of the game between second-seeded Lamar and Presbyterian.

Utah State is the third WAC school to punch its ticket to postseason. Idaho will take on UConn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while Seattle will take on Saint Mary's in the Women's National Invitation Tournament.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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