South Dakota women's basketball remains undefeated

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - South Dakota women's basketball knocked off the Pac-12's Utah 84-81 in overtime on Saturday inside the Huntsman Center.

The Coyotes improve to 4-0 with three of those victories coming in true road games. Saturday's win at Utah (0-3) came against a program that has won 82 percent of its home games in history, ranking in the top-five of the NCAA for home win percentage.

"Today was a big win against a very good Pac-12 team on their home court," said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. "Utah is a very long and skilled team that makes it extremely tough for you on both ends, and our young ladies did a great job of staying poised and playing with confidence down the stretch.

"We now have to recover and prepare for a very good team from the SEC in Missouri. We hope to see the Sanford Coyote Sports Center painted red on Thursday night."

Plitzuweit takes home her fifth victory over a Power 5 program in her fourth year with the Coyotes. Previous wins include Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa State, and Missouri.

All five Coyote starters finished the game in double-figures. Junior guard Monica Arens led the way with a career-high of 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Senior guard Ciara Duffy totaled 16 points with seven assists and five rebounds.

Junior center Hannah Sjerven finished with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting with seven boards and two blocks in limited minutes. Junior guard Chloe Lamb had 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while senior guard Madison McKeever tallied 10 points, three assists and three rebounds.

Reaching double figures for Utah was freshman forward Lola Pendande with 19 points, junior forward Ola Mukurat with 14 points and senior guard Kianna Moore with 12 points.

South Dakota jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first two minutes. Utah called out a timeout and chipped away at the lead with nine unanswered points of their own. Neither team got out to a double-figure lead for the remainder of the game, tying it up at 35 at the half and 71 at the end of regulation.

The most comfortable advantage by the Coyotes was up eight points, 69-61, following a pair of free throws by Arens. Utah made five free-throws and a layup to get back within a score in the final minute.

Utah's Makurat made things interesting at the end of regulation, knocking down a 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Utes a 71-69 lead. Arens drew a foul on a drive to the basket with the Coyotes' last possession, sinking the ensuing free throws to tie it up at 71.

Makurat tried to win the game without time to spare in the Utes' final possession, but Arens blocked her 3-point attempt to send it to overtime.

Playing its second overtime game in four days, momentum continued in South Dakota's favor as the Coyotes won 84-81.

South Dakota shot 45.7 percent (32-of-70) from the field, while Utah made 41.7 percent (25-of-60). The Utes scored 10 3-pointers, but the Coyotes balanced it out by controlling the inside game with a 42-24 advantage in the paint. This also marked the first time on the season that a Coyote opponent got to the free-throw line more times than the Yotes.

The Coyotes return to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center for a two-game home swing against 2019 NCAA Tournament teams in Missouri and Missouri State. South Dakota hosts Missouri at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are available on GoYotes.com.