DES MOINES - South Dakota led by as many as 16 points in the second half but had to hold off a Drake comeback as the Coyotes picked up a 74-69 women's basketball victory Sunday at the Knapp Center.
The host Bulldogs trailed 67-51 after an Alexis Yackley layup with 5:45 left to play, but Drake rallied for a 12-2 run over the next 3 minutes. Liza Heap had six points during the stretch in which the Bulldogs climbed to within 69-63, but the offense ran out of steam despite South Dakota's free-throw shooting woes the rest of the way.
Yackley went 1-for-5 and the Coyotes were 5-of-11 as a team from the charity stripe during the final 1:46, but Drake got no closer than the final five-point margin after Kyndal Clark's uncontested layup ended the scoring.
Clark finished with a game-high 21 points despite shooting 5-for-21 from the field, and the Bulldogs suffered season-opening defeat on their home court.
Heap finished with 12 points off the bench, while Morgan Reid had a double-double of 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds before fouling out with 22 seconds left.
Four players scored in double figures for South Dakota, led by Nicole Seekamp with 18 points.
Drake returns to action next Sunday with another home game slated for 2:05 p.m. against the University of Illinois-Chicago.