SWEET 16 BOUND! USD women best Baylor in Big Dance!

Coyotes stun perennial power Bears to advance in NCAA Tournament
Coyotes stun Baylor 61-47
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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WACO, TX (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Coyotes have stunned the women’s college basketball world.

USD upset perennial national championship contender Baylor 61-47 in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 in Waco, Texas, upsetting the host team.

The Coyotes opened the game on an 11-0 run and never trailed. The Bears didn’t score for the game’s first seven minutes as USD led 16-4 after one period and 34-23 at half.

Baylor made a run to pull within seven in the fourth quarter, but terrific defense and timely offense carried the day and held off a Bear rally.

Senior Hannah Sjerven led USD with a game-high 16 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

South Dakota, who Friday won their first ever game in the NCAA Division One Tournament, advances to the program’s first ever Sweet 16 and will face the winner of tomorrow’s Michigan and Villanova game on Monday in Wichita, Kansas.

Click on the video viewer to hear from the team during our live report from Waco. A full game recap courtesy USD athletics is below.

GAME RECAP FROM SOUTH DAKOTA ATHLETICS

How sweet it is!

South Dakota women’s basketball led wire-to-wire in a 61-47 win over No. 7/5 Baylor inside the Ferrell Center in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.

The Coyotes (29-5) are just the second Summit League team to advance to the Sweet 16. Sunday also marks the first win over a top-10 nationally ranked team in Summit history.

USD’s historical afternoon included ending Baylor’s streak of 12-straight Sweet 16 appearances and handed the Bears’ just their third second-round loss in 19 tournament appearances. It was the first non-Big 12 loss on Baylor’s home floor since 2014.

South Dakota’s trio of super seniors paced the Coyotes with double-figure scoring. Hannah Sjerven scored 16 points, Chloe Lamb had 15 and Liv Korngable added 11 points and five assists.

Baylor (28-7) was led by seniors Queen Egbo and NaLyssa Smith with 13 and 10 points, respectively. The pair were both members of Baylor’s 2019 NCAA Championship squad.

Sunday’s game started much like Friday afternoon, with Sjerven stealing the ball and knocking down a 3-pointer on the opening defensive and offensive possessions for the second-straight game. USD scored the first 11 points, holding Baylor scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game. South Dakota’s 16-4 lead after the first quarter was the difference-maker in the game, never allowing the Bears to close within four points during the game. South Dakota has not yet trailed in 80 minutes of NCAA Tournament action.

The Coyotes’ top-10 defense held Baylor to its lowest scoring outing of the season with those four first-quarter points being the lowest Baylor’s scored in a quarter this season. Baylor’s 31.5 percent (17-of-54) from the field was the Bears’ lowest field-goal percentage in a game this season. The Bears shot 19.2 percent (5-of-26) from 3-point range. Baylor became the 17th opponent South Dakota has held under 50 points this season.

South Dakota shot 39.2 percent (20-of-51) from the field and made 50 percent (8-of-16) from deep.

In addition to slowing Baylor’s high-octane scoring output, the Coyotes capitalized with 20 points off 19 Bear turnovers. Sjerven led the way with four steals, while second-year freshman Maddie Krull added three.

Other notables in Sunday’s game include South Dakota’s first top-25 win since Dec. 15, 2018. The Coyotes’ last top-10 win came at the Division II level, when the Coyotes defeated No. 1 Delta State 68-58 in the 2008 Division II Final Four.

South Dakota plays the winner of third-seeded Michigan and 11th-seeded Villanova next Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.

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