VERMILLION — Kelly Stewart has a unique perspective on teammate Nicole Seekamp passing Amber Hegge on an all-time University of South Dakota women’s basketball scoring list.

She played with both of them.

“Amber could play a guard if she wanted to, and Nicole could play the four,” Stewart, a senior, said with a smile.

In the course of an otherwise drama-free 92-60 victory over Fort Wayne on Thursday night, Seekamp leap-frogged Hegge for second place in the record books.

Seekamp, a senior from Australia, scored a game-high 19 points to reach 1,762 for her career — passing Hegge, a Crofton (Nebraska) native who is now playing professionally over in, yes, Australia.

Stewart was a freshman, learning from the likes of Hegge, on the 2011-12 squad. How would she compare Seekamp to Hegge?

“Just all around very similar people, because they can take over a game,” Stewart said.

In Thursday’s Summit League game, though, the first-place Coyotes (14-5, 5-1) didn’t exactly need Seekamp to take over — not even when the Mastodons trimmed a 22-point deficit down to nine in the third quarter.

Seekamp, however, did jump up to second place on the scoring chart when USD rebuilt a 22-point lead.

“Thanks go to my teammates and coaches,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.

“They get me the ball and trust in me to do what I can for the team.”

And Seekamp’s impact is far beyond her point total. In addition to clutch shots like last Sunday’s go-ahead three-pointer at South Dakota State, she ranks third all-time at USD in career steals and fourth in steals.

Seeing Seekamp reach No. 2 in scoring? No, USD coach Amy Williams was not surprised.

“Whenever you’re mentioning her name with the likes of Amber Hegge, those are some of the best players to have ever worn Coyote uniforms,” Williams said.

When it came to the players currently wearing those uniforms, the key for USD was to maintain the defensive intensity that led to the win at Frost Arena last Sunday.

To that end, the Coyotes still have some work to do, Williams said later.

“I don’t think we took up a step up the ladder that we’re trying to climb in improvement on defense,” she said, pointing to Fort Wayne’s 10-of-17 clip on three-pointers.

“There are some things there that we would really like to correct and get better at.”

Stewart contributed 11 points and six rebounds to USD’s win, while senior Tia Hemiller added 11 points and six rebounds.

The Coyotes, who rank in the top-20 nationally in scoring, will host IUPUI on Saturday afternoon in Vermillion. IUPUI pushed South Dakota State to double overtime Thursday night before coming up just short.

Fort Wayne (4-15, 0-6), meanwhile, got 15 points off the bench from Courtney Ogle — who came in averaging 3.7 points a game.

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FORT WAYNE (4-15, 0-6)

KeShyra McCarver 0-1 1-2 1; Keanna Gary 5-8 1-2 11; Kamilah Carter 4-11 0-0 11; De’Jour Young 0-3 0-0 0; Rachel Rinehart 4-7 1-2 11; Courtney Ogle 5-6 0-0 15; Josie Fisher 0-1 0-0 0; Selena Lozada 1-4 5-8 7; Isis Parker 0-1 0-0 0; Peyton Fallis 0-4 0-0 0; Allyson Bunch 1-1 2-4 4. TOTALS 20-47 10-18 60.

SOUTH DAKOTA (14-5, 5-1)

Margaret McCloud 4-5 1-2 9; Tia Hemiller 4-6 2-2 11; Kelly Stewart 4-9 2-2 11; Caitlin Duffy 3-8 0-0 7; Nicole Seekamp 7-12 2-2 19; Jasmine Trimboli 3-5 0-0 8; Allison Arens 2-2 0-0 6; Jaycee Bradley 1-1 2-2 5; Bridget Arens 2-5 0-0 4; Madeline Homoly 1-4 2-6 4; Kate Liveringhouse 2-5 2-2 6; Heidi Hoff 0-1 0-0 0; Abigail Fogg 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS 34-64 13-18 92.

FORT WAYNE 15 29 46 60

SOUTH DAKOTA 29 49 68 92

Three-Pointers — USD 11-24 (Seekamp 3-4, A. Arens 2-2, Trimboli 2-4, Bradley 1-1, Hemiller 1-3, Stewart 1-4, Duffy 1-5, Hoff 0-1), FW 10-17 (Ogle 5-6, Carter 3-6, Rinehart 2-3, McCarver 0-1, Fallis 0-1). Total Rebounds — USD 37 (Stewart 6), FW 28 (Lozada 6). Assists — USD 25 (Hemiller 6), FW 14 (Rinehart 5). Steals — USD 14 (5 with 2), FW 1 (Ogle). Personal Fouls — USD 21, FW 18. Fouled Out — Homoly. Attendance — 1453.


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