South Dakota women beat Florida Gulf Coast in WNIT final

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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.