South Dakota fans storm the court after their team defeated Florida Gulf Coast 71-65 in the WNIT championship women's college basketball game at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D., Saturday, April 2, 2016. (Emily Spartz Weerheim/The Argus Leader via AP)
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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