FORT WAYNE, Ind.—South Dakota's defense held Purdue Fort Wayne to five second-half field goals as the Coyotes ran away with its ninth true road win of the season 71-49 inside the Hilliard Gates Sports Center on Saturday.
"Today was a game where we did not play our best on both ends to start, but in the second half our young ladies played with both incredible urgency and effort," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "Our ability to force turnovers created some really good scoring opportunities in transition and that really helped jump start our offense."
Plitzuweit reaches her third-straight 20-win season in three years with the Coyotes (20-3, 8-1 Summit League).
Three Coyotes reached double-figures in the contest as senior guard Allison Arens and junior guard Ciara Duffy paced the team with 19 points apiece. Arens made 6-of-7 from the field and 6-of-6 from the line. She added seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
Junior forward Taylor Frederick stepped up with extended minutes Saturday, knocking down 6-of-8 shots with three triples for 15 points. She also swiped a career high six steals and handed out a pair of assists.
Purdue Fort Wayne (6-16, 2-8 Summit League) got off to an impressive start, shooting 52 percent from the floor in the first half. The Coyotes tied it up at 34 all headed into the break. Mastodon center Jaelencia Williams had 10 of her 16 points in the first 20 minutes. She was the lone Purdue Fort Wayne player in double-figures.
South Dakota used a 17-2 run, with the Mastodons' two points coming from the line, to end the third period. A 3-pointer from Arens gave USD a 58-42 advantage headed into the final frame.
Eleven points to start the fourth quarter, with a pair of triples by Frederick, extended the Coyotes' lead to 69-42. Purdue Fort Wayne totaled 15 points in the second half and finished 5-of-23 from the field.
The Coyotes shot at a 54 percent (27-of-50) clip for the game. South Dakota knocked down 9-of-12 during the team's third-quarter run.
South Dakota also capitalized with 30 points off 24 Mastodon turnovers.
The Coyotes have five of their final seven regular season games at home. Up next, South Dakota hosts Omaha at 7 p.m. Wednesday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.