USD earns seventh straight win, improving to 9-1

VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota sophomores Monica Arens and Liv Korngable scored 14 points apiece to lead the Coyotes in a 79-40 win over Bellevue.

Standing at 9-1 to start the season, South Dakota is off to its best start since 2008-09. The Coyotes now face a tough stretch to wrap up the 2018 calendar year with games at Missouri and the Puerto Rico Classic tournament ahead of Summit League play.

The game served as an exhibition for Bellevue (9-4), who got its first North Star Conference win on Thursday at Dakota State.

"Today was a good win against a much improved Bellevue team from a year ago," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "It was good to see us be able to convert in transition when were able to force turnovers and also create some extra possessions with our effort on the offensive glass.

"We now have to finish finals strong over the next couple of days and prepare for a really tough road trip versus four quality teams here before conference play starts after Christmas."

All 14 Coyotes got into the game with 12 scoring at least one basket. South Dakota had 59 bench points in the game.

In addition to Arens and Korngable, sophomore center Hannah Sjerven reached double figures with 10 points. Arens added five steals, four rebounds, a pair of blocks and two assists to her stat line. Korngable had six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Sjerven added four blocks and four rebounds.

Senior guard Allison Arens finished with eight points and five boards, while sophomore guard Claudia Kunzer recorded seven points, six steals, five rebounds and five assists off the bench.

Bellevue guard Jamie Winkler was the lone Bruin in double figures with 13 points.

The Coyotes jumped out to a large first-quarter lead with an 18-2 run to end the period. South Dakota led 49-19 at the half and reached its largest lead, 77-37 off a 3-pointer by freshman forward Regan Sankey with 2:40 to play in the game.

South Dakota scored 30 points off 30 Bruin turnovers. The Coyotes also had 17 fast break points.

The Coyotes made 41.1 percent (30-of-73) from the floor while holding Bellevue to 27.3 percent (12-of-44).

Next on the slate for South Dakota is a trip to Missouri where the Coyotes will face the Tigers at 3 p.m. Saturday.