GUAYNABO, PR—South Dakota junior guard Ciara Duffy scored 24 points to pace the Coyotes in a 67-40 victory over Loyola Marymount in the second game of the Puerto Rico Classic on Thursday afternoon inside Mario Morales Coliseum.
The Coyotes (12-1) extended their win streak to 10 games while Loyola Marymount (7-4) lost their second of the Puerto Rico Classic.
“Today was a good win versus a team in Loyola Marymount that is an extremely tough matchup on both ends,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “The biggest key was our adjustment and ability to take care of the ball in the second half. Our ability to finish plays and lock in defensively helped us beat a really good team in LMU.
“Again, we have to quickly get recovered and face a very good team out of the Big Ten in Indiana.”
The first half featured three lead changes and four tied scores. Neither team led by more than four points until a 3-point play by junior forward Taylor Frederick with 25 seconds remaining in the half put the Coyotes up 27-20. The Lions answered with a 3-pointer from junior Cierra Belvin just before the halftime horn.
Duffy and sophomore guard Monica Arens both got rolling in the third quarter with nine and eight points, respectively, in the period. Coming out of the media timeout, Duffy dished it to Arens for a long jumper that gave the Coyotes their first double-digit lead of the game at 37-27. A pair of 3-pointers from Arens and another from Duffy made it 46-32 headed into the final frame.
South Dakota hit four of their nine triples in the final quarter, while holding LMU to 2-of-12 from the field during the period. The Coyotes outscored the Lions 21-8 in the fourth with 14 points coming from USD’s bench.
After the big second half, South Dakota came away with the 67-40 victory. LMU’s 40 points tied for the fewest points by a Coyote opponent in a game this season.
Duffy was just shy of a double-double with 24 points and nine rebounds, while adding four assists and three steals to her stat line. Duffy surpassed 20 points for the fifth time this season and 13th time in her career.
Arens finished with 11 points for her fourth-straight double-figure game. She also grabbed seven rebounds, handed out four assists and had two steals.
Loyola Marymount did not have any players reach double figures. Sophomore Jasmine Jones and senior Gabby Green each finished with nine points.
The Coyotes shot at a 43.1 percent (23-of-58) clip while holding the Lions to 29.4 percent (15-of-51) from the floor.
South Dakota and Indiana (10-1) face off in the final game of the Puerto Rico Classic at 3 p.m. (CT) on Friday.