AP Photo
April 02, 2016

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) Tia Hemiller had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists and South Dakota beat Florida Gulf Coast 71-65 on Saturday to win the WNIT championship.

South Dakota outscored FGCU 10-2, with five points from Hemiller, to start the third quarter for a 41-29 lead. FGCU got within 53-51 with 5:11 remaining, but the Eagles did not make another field goal until the 1:09 mark. South Dakota made three 3-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws in the final five minutes to seal it.

Kelly Stewart added 12 points and Abigail Fogg 10 for South Dakota (32-6), which tied a Summit League record for most single-season wins. Stewart and Fogg each had three blocks.

Nicole Seekamp, the tournament MVP and South Dakota's leading scorer at 16.1 points per game, was held to seven points on 3-of-15 shooting.

Kaneisha Atwater led Florida Gulf Coast (33-6) with 25 points. Taylor Gradinjan added 12 and Stephanie Haas 10. Whitney Knight tied a career high with nine blocked shots - one short of the WNIT record.

The announced attendance of 7,415 was the most in South Dakota's Division I history.

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