VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota sophomore center Hannah Sjerven notched her second-straight 20-point game to pace the Coyotes in a 69-51 victory over Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
The Coyotes (15-3, 3-1 Summit) have won all seven home games this season and improve their record to 37-3 inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
"Today we did a very good job of making adjustments and fighting through some adversity," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "Our ability to turn up our intensity defensively and score efficiently around the rim helped us when we really needed it in this game.
"We have a really tough stretch with our next three games on the road, so we have to prepare and continue to improve headed into this stretch."
Sjerven, in her first career start, finished with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor and grabbed five rebounds.
Joining her in double figures were junior guard Ciara Duffy and sophomore guard Chloe Lamb. Duffy's line read 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Lamb added 13 points and three rebounds.
Purdue Fort Wayne (4-13, 0-5 Summit) got off to a hot start in the first quarter, outscoring the Coyotes 17-15 through 10 minutes. The Mastodons knocked down their first five shots without a miss to start the game.
The Mastodon offense went stagnant following the quick start. South Dakota went on a 17-5 run with the Coyote defense forcing seven turnovers and the Dons shooting 2-of-13 in the next 10-minute stretch. The Coyotes held Purdue Fort Wayne to four points in the second quarter, the lowest point total by an opponent in a period this season.
South Dakota outscored Purdue Fort Wayne 38-30 in the second half to extend the final score to 69-51.
Only junior guard Anna Lappenkuper reached double figures for Purdue Fort Wayne in the game. She had 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Also contributing to the Coyotes were senior guard Allison Arens with eight points and sophomore guard Liv Korngable with an impressive stat line of eight points, four assists, two steals, two rebounds, a block and no turnovers.
The Coyotes outscored the Mastodons 20-6 in points off turnovers and 36-16 in the paint.
South Dakota begins a three-game road trip with Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.