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HISTORY MADE! Coyote women crush Ole Miss for first NCAA Tournament win!

USD defeats Rebels 75-61 in first round, will face Baylor in Round of 32
Coyote women crush Ole Miss for first NCAA Tournament win
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 8:20 PM CDT
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WACO, TX (Dakota News Now) - After years of showing themselves to be a premier mid-major team in women’s college basketball, the University of South Dakota now has the crowning achievement to their Division One transition and era.

A win in the Big Dance!

The 10th seeded Coyotes dominated the 7th seeded Ole Miss Rebels of the SEC in the opening round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, winning 75-61 on Friday in Waco, TX.

Hannah Sjerven and Onida native Chloe Lamb each scored 20 points. Maddie Krull added 13 points and Liv Korngable scored 10.

This is USD’s first NCAA Tournament win in their fifth appearance. The Coyotes will face tournament host Baylor in the Round of 32 on Sunday with time TBA. The Bears defeated Hawaii 89-49.

Check out Dakota News Now on-air and online for more updates with Cooper Seamer in Waco. A recap of the game courtesy USD is post below.

USD RECAP

One year ago, three South Dakota seniors made the decision to take advantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility to accomplish a goal they had not yet reached: to win a game in the NCAA Tournament.

South Dakota got 20 points each from super seniors Chloe Lamb and Hannah Sjerven and led wire-to-wire in a dominant 75-61 win over Ole Miss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon inside the Ferrell Center.

It was the program’s first NCAA Tournament win in four tries. South Dakota has qualified for five Big Dances in 10 seasons of eligibility. The program’s last tournament win came in 2008 when the team was the Division II national runner-up.

South Dakota (28-5, 17-1) added 13 points from second-year freshman Maddie Krull, fellow super-senior Liv Korngable had 10 and second-year freshman Kyah Watson chipped in eight. The Coyotes also got 13 solid minutes and four points off the bench from Allison Peplowski.

“Our effort and determination was outstanding from start to finish and this is such a special day for our program,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “This was such a fun day for all of Coyote Nation and to make history and advance to the second round of March Madness is so great for the University of South Dakota.

“We will now work to prepare and get recovered for our next game on Sunday.”

Ole Miss (23-9, 10-6), with the second-ranked scoring defense in the SEC, was unable to slow the Coyotes’ hot shooting or capitalize off turnovers.

South Dakota won the turnover battle 11-10 and Sjerven won the battle of the bigs. Sjerven was 7-of-7 from the field, had seven rebounds, three steals and a block. Ole Miss 6-foot-5 center Shakira Austin was 3-for-16 for nine points, equaling her lowest scoring output in the last 11 games.

And it started from the opening possession. Sjerven stepped in and stole an entry pass to Austin, then drilled a 3-pointer on the offensive end for the game’s first points. Five minutes into the game, South Dakota led 11-2 and had set the pace.

Austin, a two-time first team all-SEC pick expected to be taken early in the upcoming WNBA draft, was 1-of-7 in the first half and had four points. Sjerven and Lamb combined for 22 points in the half and the Coyotes took a 36-27 lead into the break.

Sjerven was tagged for her second and third fouls quickly out of the break, so enter Peplowski and South Dakota didn’t miss a beat. Watson made a jumper, Lamb buried a 3 and Watson scored again in the paint forcing an Ole Miss timeout with USD leading 46-33. At the end of the quarter, it was Krull who got rolling. She scored at the rim, drilled a three from the wing and hit a jumper to help the Coyotes lead 57-43 through three. Krull had eight of her 13 points in the third.

Sjerven scored eight points in the fourth quarter and South Dakota finished the job with back-to-back 3-pointers from Lamb and Korngable with less than three minutes to go. South Dakota was 6-of-14 from beyond the arc and shot 55 percent form the field for the game.

Angel Baker, the SEC Sixth Woman of the Year, scored 23 points on 8-of-19 shooting to lead the Rebels. Baker was the only Ole Miss player to score in double-figures. Ole Miss made 6-of-10 from the 3-point range to keep things as close, but was held to less than 40 percent shooting overall.

Friday was the first time South Dakota’s had four players in double-figures in an NCAA Tournament game and the Coyotes’ 75 points was also a program high in the NCAA Tournament. South Dakota is the fourth Summit League team to win an NCAA Tournament game all-time.

South Dakota, the No. 10 seed in the Wichita Region, will face second-seeded Baylor in a second-round contest Sunday at a time yet to be announced.

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