Seemingly running out of gas after a 16-point first half in which it went through a nearly 10-minute scoring drought against the Summit League leader, UNO found a way to push South Dakota once again.
The Mavericks, who took the reigning conference champion to the final possessions before falling in Vermillion, South Dakota, last month, wiped out a 15-point halftime deficit with a furious third-quarter comeback.
But preseason Summit player of the year Nicole Seekamp spoiled UNO's upset bid by starting a fourth-quarter surge that led the Coyotes past the Mavs 70-55 Sunday at Baxter Arena.
Seekamp hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer to open the period, then assisted on South Dakota's next two baskets. By the end, she'd tallied half of her 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the fourth.
"It's the same thing happened up at their place. She wins games for them," UNO coach Brittany Lange said. "They have a very nice team. They have a deep team. They follow her lead. She can play on pretty much every team in the country. She has that 'it' factor. She's just a straight winner."
The Coyotes (19-5) improved to 10-1 in the Summit with the victory. The Mavs (11-12), meanwhile, dropped their third straight game to fall to 4-7 in conference play. They are in sixth place with five league games remaining.
This was a tough week for UNO. It had a rough outing against title contender South Dakota State on Thursday, then had to bounce back against the Coyotes three days later. South Dakota limited the Mavs to five points in the first quarter and 26-percent shooting in the first half to go up 31-16 at the break.
UNO seemed to have little fire left when it came out for the second half, then picked it up right away.
"I feel like we all really knew we could come back on this team and that we were definitely still in the game," sophomore guard Remy Davenport said. "We were all really excited to come back in the second half. We knew we could play a lot better than we did in the first."
Mikaela Shaw sparked the Mavs with a conventional three-point play two minutes into the third. Then Caroline Hogue backed up a Bobby Beckwith 3-pointer with another and-1. Shaw added another before a baseline drive by Abi Lujan pulled UNO within three in less than five minutes of action.
"We got one and-1 and that really sparked it all," Shaw said.
"And after that, we got another one. Then I think we got another one. That gave us a spark on defense, gave us some life.
We were getting energy from the bench. The crowd was into it. It was a lot of fun to play in that third quarter."
The Mavs pulled even at 37-all when Sara Echelberry canned a 3 from the wing. A short time later, Davenport buried a 3 to give UNO its only lead of the second half at 42-40. It was 44-44 heading into the fourth after Beckwith beat the buzzer with a jumper to answer a go-ahead basket by Jasmine Trimboli.
Trimboli, a former NJCAA All-American at Iowa Western, had 13 points to join Seekamp and Abigail Fogg, who both ended with 14, in double digits for the Coyotes. Shaw finished with 13 and Davenport had 11 for the Mavs while racking up 37 and 36 minutes of playing time, respectively.
UNO went only 2 for 13 from the field in the fourth as South Dakota reclaimed control.
The Mavs committed 20 turnovers, and the Coyotes had 16 offensive rebounds, leading to a 15-shot differential.
"The two areas we're struggling in right now are rebounding and taking care of the basketball," Lange said. "That comes from consistent play and experience from the guard position and a collective team effort to board. We are consistently getting 10 to 15 less shots than our opponents, which makes it tough for you to play."