Coyote women dismantle SDSU with defense

USD holds Jackrabbits to 25 points in final 30 minutes of 65-42 victory
Coyotes win 65-42 in Vermillion
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 10:03 PM CST
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VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota’s stifling defense led the Coyotes to a 65-42 victory over in-state rival South Dakota State on Saturday afternoon in front of 3,513 fans inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

South Dakota (12-4, 5-0 Summit) had four players reach double-figures in the game. Fifth-year senior Liv Korngable led the way with 15 points, second-year freshman Kyah Watson dropped a career-best 14 points, sixth-year senior Hannah Sjerven tallied a double-double of 14 points and 13 boards, and fifth-year senior Chloe Lamb had 10 points.

The Coyote defense held South Dakota State (8-8, 4-1) to its lowest scoring total this season. Saturday marked the first time that no Jackrabbit reached double-figures in a game since Jan. 2, 2014 against No. 2 Notre Dame. South Dakota women’s basketball assistant coach Ariel Braker was a starter on that Fighting Irish squad.

“This was a very good win and defensively, our awareness and effort was really good, especially in the last three quarters,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Special thanks to our fans and the Coyote Crazies for making the Sanford Coyote Sports Center a great environment today!”

Saturday marked the Jackrabbits’ second-worst loss in Summit League play, behind USD’s 83-48 rout two seasons ago inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Korngable scored her game-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting with three assists and three boards. Watson, a native of Rapid City, tallied the career-best 14 points in her first time playing South Dakota State.

Sjerven tallied her fourth double-double of the season. In addition to her 14 points and 13 boards, she had four assists, four blocked shots and three steals. Lamb reached double-figure scoring for her 14th time in 16 games this season. She also handed out four assists and stole the ball twice.

The Coyotes shot at a 46.4 percent clip (26-of-56) from the field and knocked down 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from deep.

The Jackrabbits shot 37.2 percent (16-of-43) from the floor and made 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) behind the arc. South Dakota’s defense has not given up five made 3-pointers in Summit play this season. The Coyote defense is holding teams to 48.4 points per game in Summit play.

USD and SDSU were tied 20-20 following the first frame. A driving layup from Korngable in the closing seconds of the second quarter gave the Coyotes their first double-digit lead of the game, 35-25, headed into the half. USD’s defense held the Jacks to a single field goal in that second quarter.

The Coyotes scored the first 14 points out of the break, building a lead out to 49-25 with three minutes remaining in the third. USD’s defense limited SDSU to just five points in both the second and third quarter. The Coyotes finished it off to win the game 65-42.

USD controlled the glass, outrebounding the Jacks 35-23, and the Coyotes turned 12 offensive boards into 20 second-chance points.

South Dakota resumes action at 8 p.m. CST Thursday at Denver.

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