OMAHA, Neb.—South Dakota’s lone senior Allison Arens tipped off her final campaign by scoring her 1,000th career point Wednesday night at D.J. Sokol Arena as the Coyotes defeated Creighton 77-65 in the season opener.
The other South Dakota (1-0) storyline on Wednesday night was junior Taylor Frederick’s career game in her first career start. Frederick put away 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting with a trio of triples.
Arens becomes the 25th Coyote in program history to surpass the 1,000-point milestone. She scored 11 points against the Jays with five rebounds and a team-high four assists.
Creighton (0-1) returns five of its top-six scorers from its NCAA Tournament second round team a year ago, including senior Audrey Faber. Faber carried the Bluejays with 27 points on 8-of-17 shooting. She also made seven free throws in eight trips to the line.
Faber has been working her way up Creighton’s all-time scoring list. In a neat twist, tonight she surpassed South Dakota women’s basketball academic advisor Becky (Flynn) Jensen. Jensen played for the Jays from 1992-96.
The Coyotes put four players in double figures with junior Madison McKeever and sophomore Chloe Lamb scoring 10 apiece. Sophomore Monica Arens pitched in eight points with six rebounds.
The first quarter was a 3-point shootout between the two teams with the Coyotes sinking 6-of-8 and the Bluejays making 5-of-9. Creighton led by as much as seven ahead of the media timeout before a 13-3 run by the Coyotes. South Dakota edged the Bluejays 22-21 at the end of the first.
South Dakota jumped out even further when the Arens sisters went on a 9-0 run to start the quarter. It was Allison Arens’ 3-pointer less than a minute into the second quarter that bumped her past 1,000 career points. A layup by Frederick put the Coyotes up by 12 with eight minutes to go in the first half.
The Coyotes did not let up on the gas as the third quarter began, forcing seven Bluejay turnovers during the period. McKeever had a steal-and-score with 2:41 remaining as the Coyotes led 52-36. She then forced another steal that redshirt-sophomore Hannah Sjerven scored off of to put the Coyotes up by 18.
Creighton drilled five from downtown in the fourth quarter, but Frederick answered with 14 points in the quarter. The Coyotes dribbled out the 77-65 win.
South Dakota made 49.1 percent (27-55) from the field and 45.8 percent (11-24) from outside the arc in its season opener. Meanwhile, the Coyote defense held Creighton to 38.5 percent (20-52) shooting and forced 14 Bluejay turnovers.
The Coyotes make their Sanford Coyote Sports Center debut at 3:15 p.m. Sunday in the second half of a doubleheader with USD volleyball.