GRAND FORKS, N.D.—South Dakota’s stingy defense held North Dakota to eight field goals in the first three quarters as the Coyotes topped North Dakota 80-50 inside the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Thursday night.
The Coyotes (18-3, 6-1 Summit) were balanced on the offensive end of the floor with four players in double-figures.
Sophomore center Hannah Sjerven tallied 16 points in 18 minutes. She was 6-of-8 from the floor, knocking down two of her four career 3-pointers in one night. She also recorded five rebounds, three steals and a block.
Junior guard Ciara Duffy finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal.
Both senior guard Allison Arens and sophomore guard Chloe Lamb finished with 14 points apiece. Arens tied her career high of seven steals from the 2017 Women’s National Invitation Tournament game against the Fighting Hawks. She’s had four or more steals in three of the last four games. Lamb grabbed a team-high seven boards to go with her 14 points.
North Dakota (8-13, 3-5 Summit) looked to senior forward Lexi Klabo, who leads the Summit in scoring at 18.7 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor. Klabo was held to a pair of field goals, but finished with 10 points after going 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. UND’s Jill Morton also reached double-digits with 10 points.
The Coyotes scored 13-straight points in the first quarter to gain a double-figure advantage on the Fighting Hawks after the opening frame. South Dakota extended the lead past 20 points by the half, taking a 39-16 advantage into the break.
South Dakota’s largest lead of 42 points came at the beginning of the fourth quarter as Sjerven knocked down a triple to make it 72-30. The Fighting Hawks closed the margin down in the last frame for a final of 80-50.
The Coyotes, who had been giving up 44.9 percent from the floor through six Summit games, held the Fighting Hawks to 24.1 percent (13-of-54) from the field. The Fighting Hawks made just one three-pointer in 15 tries.
South Dakota shot a steady 44.2 percent (23-of-52) from the field and 42.1 (8-of-19) from downtown.
The two teams combined for 63 fouls in the contest, making 59 trips to the free-throw line in an incredibly physical contest.
The Coyote defense also forced 23 Fighting Hawk turnovers, with USD capitalizing by scoring 28 points off turnovers for the second-straight game.
South Dakota went undefeated on its three-game road swing and returns home for its fourth game in eight days on Saturday. The Coyotes host Western Illinois at 1 p.m. inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in the first half of a doubleheader with USD’s men.