VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota women’s basketball took down No. 23/22 Iowa State with a 64-59 victory on Wednesday evening inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. It marks the Coyotes’ first win over an AP Top-25 team.
The Coyotes (6-1) hosted an AP Top-25 team in Vermillion for the first time in program history and also won their first AP Top-25 game.
“Tonight our team did a phenomenal job of finding a way to accomplish something that is pretty special,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Our composure was really good and we had multiple big plays down the stretch on both the offensive and defensive end.
“Despite the icy weather, our crowd was amazing and every fan in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center and those cheering from home have a part of this victory. The road does not get any easier as we now host one of the best defensive teams in the country on Saturday. We hope to see the Sports Center rocking for a great men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader!”
South Dakota was led in scoring by junior guard Ciara Duffy’s 17 points with four assists and four rebounds. She became the first player to make five 3-pointers in a game so far this season. Senior guard Allison Arens added 11 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore center Hannah Sjerven recorded her first collegiate double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Iowa State (5-1) made the opening basket, but the Coyotes responded with three-straight 3-pointers that put South Dakota ahead for the remainder of the game.
South Dakota extended its lead to a comfortable 17 points by the half after outscoring the Cyclones 22-9 in the second quarter. The Coyotes made 6-of-10 outside the arc during the run and capitalized with 12 points off five Cyclone turnovers.
The Cyclones stayed even with the Coyotes in the third quarter as South Dakota held on to its double-figure lead.
The fourth quarter was when things got interesting. After a technical foul by the Iowa State bench, the Cyclones got fired up and used a full-court press to close an 18-point Coyote lead to three with 1:19 remaining.
USD junior guard Madison McKeever had a crucial final minute for the Coyotes. With 57 seconds to play, she drove to the rim for two that put the Coyotes up 62-57. She also grabbed the defensive rebound with 17 seconds remaining and made both free throws after being fouled. McKeever then forced a turnover by the Cyclones with eight seconds left to allow South Dakota to dribble it out with a 64-59 victory.
Iowa State sophomore forward Madison Wise paced the Cyclones with 19 points, with 14 of them coming in the fourth quarter to put ISU back in the game. The Coyotes held senior guard Bridget Carleton, a two-time all-Big 12 first teamer and finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award last season, to 14 points on 19 shots.
South Dakota shot 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the floor and made 12 3-pointers, a season high against Division I foes this season.
Prior to the fourth quarter, the Cyclones were shooting 27.5 percent from the field. An impressive 8-for-11 shooting effort in the fourth quarter brought the average up to 37.3 percent (19-of-51) for the game.
South Dakota outscored Iowa State 28-13 in points-off turnovers. Nine of the Coyotes’ 16 turnovers in the game were from offensive fouls called.
The Coyotes host perennial mid-major power Green Bay at 1 p.m. Saturday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.