USD women remain perfect in conference play with win over Denver

VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota posted season-highs in offensive rebounds and total rebounds in opening the home portion of the Summit League women's basketball slate with a 104-61 win over Denver.

The Coyotes pulled down 22 offensive rebounds and 50 total rebounds in a game that 1,921 fans saw the hosts win nearly every battle for a loose ball and completely disrupt Denver's offensive rhythm.

South Dakota (14-2, 3-0) had five players reach double figures, three that recorded double-doubles, in surpassing 100 points for the third time this season. The game featured the two highest-scoring offenses in the Summit League as the Coyotes easily surpassed their season average of 80.5 and held Denver to its second-fewest points in a game this season.

"Denver is an opponent that is so hard to prepare for because they play with such great tempo and spacing," coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. "Our young ladies did a great job of playing with great awareness and effort, especially on the defensive end.

"We now get a couple of days to rest and continue to work on some areas we need to improve upon and then we have to prepare for Omaha on Saturday."

Ciara Duffy scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished off six assists for the Coyotes, who shot 48.2 percent (41 of 85) for the game. Hannah Sjerven tallied 18 points and 12 rebounds while Taylor Frederick chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds, eight on the offensive end.

Monica Arens supplied 12 points, five assists, four steals and four rebounds and also drew seven fouls in the contest. Chloe Lamb added 11 points while Madison McKeever almost became a sixth Coyote in double figures, finishing with nine points.

The Pioneers (7-9, 1-2) came into the contest averaging 78.3 points per game and 86.5 in its first two Summit League contests. Denver, ranked second nationally in free throws made on the season, shot a season-low eight free throws, converting five in the contest.

Denver's Madison Nelson, the Summit League's second leading scorer at 17.8 ppg and 24.5 in league play, was held to 1-of-16 shooting and a season-low four points.

South Dakota returns to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center for its next contest against Omaha, a 1 p.m. tip off on Saturday, Jan. 11.