USD women finish regular season perfect at home

VERMILLION, S.D.—What a special send-off for South Dakota's lone senior Allison Arens!

Arens scored 18 points to lead South Dakota to an 87-54 win over North Dakota inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.

"Today our young ladies did a great job of playing with awareness and discipline on the defensive end," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "It was a special day to honor Allison Arens who has meant a great deal to our program and what a wonderful standing ovation our fans gave to her both before the game and in the fourth quarter.

"Now it is time to clean up a few things and prepare for The Summit League Tournament next weekend."

South Dakota (26-4, 14-2 Summit League) went undefeated at home this season, outscoring its 13 foes by 27 points on average inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Only two teams eclipsed the 60-point mark.

Arens was a perfect 5-for-5 on drives to the basket and added eight more points from the free-throw line. With her 18 points on Saturday, she moved to eighth all-time on USD's career scoring charts.

Three teammates joined Arens in double figures on Saturday. Junior guard Ciara Duffy tallied 15 points for her 14th double-digit game in league play. Junior forward Taylor Frederick posted an impressive stat line of 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Sophomore center Hannah Sjerven added 13 points, four rebounds and three steals.

North Dakota (11-18, 6-10 Summit League) was led by two-time all-Big Sky forward Lexi Klabo with 13 points, two assists and two blocks. Freshman forward Jaclyn Jarnot joined her in double digits with 10 points.

South Dakota outscored North Dakota by nine or more points in each of the first three quarters. The Coyotes led 79-40 with six minutes remaining in the game.

As to be expected when two teams who rank in the nation's top-30 for free throws made collide, there were 58 fouls called and 52 trips to the free-throw line. Combined with the first meeting of the year, there were 115 fouls in the regular season series.

South Dakota shot at 50 percent (27-of-54) clip for the game with fewer than five 3-pointers for the second-straight game. North Dakota finished at 30.9 percent (17-of-55) from the field. The Coyotes outscored the Fighting Hawks 40-18 in the paint.

The No. 2 seed for the upcoming Summit League Tournament, South Dakota will face No. 7 seed North Dakota State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com.