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Coyotes Complete Perfect Weekend At Western Illinois

Women rally 61-56 while men cruise 84-74
Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 11:15 PM CST
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MACOMB, IL (Dakota News Now) - WOMEN’S RECAP

A putback by Hannah Sjerven in the final minute gave South Dakota a lead it would not relinquish as the Coyotes escaped Western Hall with a 61-56 road win over Western Illinois.

The Coyotes (10-3, 6-0 Summit) edged out the Leathernecks (3-13, 2-6 Summit) for the team’s closest win of the season. Eight of USD’s 10 wins this season have been by double-digits as they entered the weekend series with the 17th-best scoring margin in the country.

“Every game, especially in conference, is a battle and our young ladies were incredibly resilient in finding a way to pick up this win,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “We are excited to return to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center next weekend as we are finally home for the first time in 26 days.”

Senior Liv Korngable scored a game-high 21 points while playing all 40 minutes for the Coyotes.

Sjerven posted her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 boards. She added three blocks and two steals to her stat line. Sjerven also became the 17th Coyote to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds at South Dakota. She will be recognized with a 1,000-point ball ahead of next Friday’s game versus Omaha.

Western Illinois was led by Danni Nichols’ 19 points and nine boards. Grace Gilmore joined her in double-digits with 11 points.

USD led for just five minutes of the tight-knit contest that included nine lead changes and four tie-ups.

The squads traded baskets throughout the first quarter and into the second, but the Leathernecks took the lead out of the second-quarter media timeout with a 7-point run to lead 27-18. Western Illinois led 32-24 at the half, marking just the second time this year USD has trailed at the break.

USD came out of the locker-room with six-straight points, including back-to-back layups from Sjerven.

The Coyotes took the lead for the first time in 20 minutes when Sjerven completed a 3-point play early in the fourth period. Western Illinois responded with six unanswered points. A quick hustle play by senior Claudia Kunzer under the basket made it a one-point game, 52-51, with 3:29 remaining.

Neither team scored again until Sjerven’s layup with 47 seconds to go gave USD a 53-52 advantage. South Dakota made 8-of-8 from the line, including four of Chloe Lamb’s nine points, down the stretch to fend off the Leathernecks’ attack with USD winning 61-56.

The Coyotes tip-off with Omaha at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion.

MEN’S RECAP

After staving off a second half comeback from Western Illinois, the South Dakota Coyotes completed the weekend sweep with the 84-74 win Saturday night inside Western Hall.

With the win the Yotes (8-6, 6-0 Summit) earn their seventh straight victory and stay unbeaten in Summit League play. Western Illinois (2-11, 0-6 Summit) drops its seventh straight game and will look to earn its first win in League play next weekend.

After shooting 61.5 percent from the field in the second half, the Yotes cooled down and shot 43.3 percent in the second half for a 51.8 percent shooting effort for the game (29-56). USD connected on 22-of-25 from the charity stripe for 88 percent.

All five Coyote starters reached double figures in scoring led by sophomore Tasos Kamateros who notched a career-high of 21 on 8-of-12 shooting. The Athens, Greece, native also went 5-of-5 from the line. After not reaching double figures for the first time this season Friday night, senior Stanley Umude recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Xavier Fuller and A.J. Plitzuweit both recorded 11 points while Kruz Perrott-Hunt reached double figures for the first time in his Coyote career with 12 points.

For the Leathernecks, Colton Sandage recorded 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field including a 3-of-4 effort from deep. Will Carius recorded 13 points while Tamell Pearson scored 11 points to round out the double figure scoring for the Leathernecks. WIU shot 39.1 percent from the field (25-64) and 43.5 percent from deep (10-23).

After trading baskets for the first 10 minutes of the games to make the score 15-14 in favor of USD, the Yotes turned up the heat on both sides of the ball. Over the final nine minutes of the first half, the Coyotes outscored the Leathernecks 27-6 to take a commanding 42-20 lead into the intermission.

Kamateros was two points away from tying his career high in the first half while Plitzuweit didn’t attempt a shot and Umude only notched four points in the opening 20 minutes.

After extending the lead to 64-29 with 13 minutes remaining, the Leathernecks mounted a serious comeback. WIU outscored the Yotes 26-5 over the next seven minutes to cut the lead to single digits at 73-65 with 2:47 left.

The Yotes slowed down the game and didn’t let the lead go below eight points in the final two minutes and change to leave Macomb with the series sweep. WIU shot 54.5 percent from the field (18-33) and 72.7 from deep (8-11) in the second half.

The Coyotes outscored the Leathernecks 46-22 in the paint and recorded 18 points off nine Western Illinois turnovers.

South Dakota returns home this coming weekend to host Omaha. Tip off on Friday is set for 8 p.m. while tip on Saturday is set for 7 p.m.

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