BROOKINGS, S.D. -- No. 20/15 South Dakota women's basketball captured the Summit League regular season championship outright with Saturday's 77-67 victory over South Dakota State in front of 3,672 fans in Frost Arena.
"Today was a great game that was physical, competitive and really showcased a high level of basketball," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "It was a game where there were a ton of adjustments made throughout the game and our young ladies did a great job of playing together and with a ton of resiliency.
"We will enjoy this moment, but also realize that our work is not done yet. We will get back to work next week and cannot wait to honor our seniors on Saturday afternoon in front of our fans in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center."
No. 20/15 South Dakota (26-2, 15-0 Summit) won the program's fourth Summit League regular season title on Saturday and the second under Plitzuweit. The Coyotes are one victory away from running the table for the second time in three years.
Four Coyotes scored in double-figures on Saturday, including the Coyotes' two in-state standouts. Junior guard Chloe Lamb, a native of Onida, South Dakota, led the way with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. She drained four 3-pointers in the game. Senior guard Ciara Duffy of Rapid City, South Dakota, added 17 points with eight assists and four rebounds.
Senior guard Madison McKeever tied her career high of 19 points. She added three assists, two steals and no turnovers to her stat line. This marks the third game of McKeever's career where she's scored 19 points.
Senior forward Taylor Frederick tallied her fifth-straight double-figure game with 10 points off the bench. She also grabbed four rebounds and had a pair of steals.
South Dakota State (20-9, 12-3 Summit) was led by senior forward Tagyn Larson's 18 points and nine boards. Tori Nelson added 12 points and Paiton Burckhard finished with 11.
The Jackrabbits knocked down a triple on their opening possession and led off and on through the first seven minutes of the game, setting a much different tone from USD's 26-6 start to the earlier game in Vermillion.
South Dakota did not allow the Jacks a field goal for the first four minutes of the second period to create a 25-16 cushion. Lamb had scored 13 of her points by the half to give the Coyotes a 35-26 lead at the break.
SDSU continued to battle in the third and fourth quarters, but never got closer than five points. The Coyotes extended the lead to as much 15 points mid-way through the fourth quarter on a jumper from Lamb.
The Coyotes have swept the Jackrabbits in the regular season for the third time in five years.
South Dakota shot 58.3 percent (28-of-48) from the field and made seven 3-pointers. This marked the first time in the Division I era that the Coyotes have shot above 50 percent inside Frost Arena.
SDSU made 48.1 percent (26-of-54) of its shots from the field, but shot 25 percent (4-of-16) from behind the arc.
South Dakota wraps up the regular season by hosting North Dakota at 1 p.m. next Saturday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. USD will recognize its four seniors – Ciara Duffy, Madison McKeever, Taylor Frederick and Megan Bonar – prior to the game.
-RECAP COURTESY USD ATHLETICS