Coyotes strong start to women's hoops season with road win

GREEN BAY, Wis.— South Dakota senior guard Ciara Duffy nearly had a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Coyotes to gritty 66-60 win over Green Bay inside the Kress Center on Saturday afternoon.

"Today was a very tough and physical game that featured a ton of adjustments from both teams throughout the game," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "Green Bay is a great team that is extremely tough to play on the road and our young ladies showed a ton of resiliency in order to come away with a victory.

"This has been a tough two-game stretch on the road, but we are very excited to come back home on Wednesday night and play in front of our great fans in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center!"

Plitzuweit led her Coyotes (2-0) to a second win over mentor Kevin Borseth's Green Bay Phoenix (1-1). Borseth and Plitzuweit previously coached together at Michigan Tech, Green Bay and Michigan.

Duffy's 23 points move her to 10th on USD's career scoring list with 1306 points. She made 7-of-14 from the field for 50 percent. Her impressive stat line also includes 10 rebounds and eight assists. Duffy tallied her third career double-double, nearly reaching a triple-double.

Junior guards Monica Arens and Chloe Lamb joined her in double-figures. Arens tallied 14 points and Lamb had 10 points. Junior center Hannah Sjerven pitched in eight points and eight rebounds with three blocks.

Green Bay's Frankie Wurtz paced the Phoenix with 24 points and 12 boards. Teammate Karly Murphy was the only other Phoenix player in double-figures with 12.

The game was a defensive battle, especially in the first half with the two teams being tied up at 22 at the break. Through the first three periods, the largest lead by either team was five points with seven ties.

South Dakota used a nine-point run headed into the fourth quarter to take its largest lead of the game at 51-44 with five minutes remaining. The Coyotes drew the lead out to nine a few times in the remaining minutes, including with a big 3-pointer by senior guard Madison McKeever down the stretch.

The Coyotes shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) in the game while holding the Phoenix to 36.4 percent (24-of-66).

South Dakota hosts Drake at 7 p.m. Wednesday in its home opener inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.