FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Big runs to begin the third and fourth quarters and a defense that produced 25 turnovers were the keys to a 62-41 South Dakota victory against Purdue Fort Wayne Wednesday inside Gates Sports Center.
It was the 14th consecutive win for the Coyotes (13-2, 2-0 Summit) over the Mastodons (4-10, 0-1) dating back to 2014. It is also the second straight road win for South Dakota to start Summit League play. The Coyotes, No. 22 in this week’s national rankings, will play five of their next six at home starting with Denver Sunday at 1 p.m.
South Dakota guard Ciara Duffy led all players with 19 points. She also had six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Purdue Fort Wayne freshman Riley Ott with 11 points was the only other player to score in double figures.
The Coyotes led nearly from start to finish outside a three-minute span in the second quarter. The lead was just 27-25 at the break, but USD outscored PFW 16-2 to begin the third quarter and 17-4 throughout the fourth. The Mastodons totaled seven field goals and 16 points in the second half.
“Today was a battle, but our young ladies were not only resilient, they did a great job of making adjustments throughout the game,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Our attention to detail on the defensive end, especially in stretches in the second half, proved to be the difference.
“We are very excited to get back home after this road trip and cannot wait to see our fans and our alumni on Sunday as we take on Denver!”
Duffy scored 15 of her 19 in the second half where the Coyotes shot 41 percent and had a 20-13 edge on the boards. She was aided in the scoring column by Hannah Sjerven and Monica Arens who had nine points each, and Chloe Lamb and Taylor Frederick who had eight points apiece.
USD’s 27 first-half points tied for its second-lowest total of the season. Credit the interior defense of Mastodon center Sh’Toya Sanders for deflecting shots and making things tough early on. Sanders finished with seven points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
The 25 PFW turnovers led to 19 Coyote points. South Dakota commited just 10 turnovers. That differential helped USD overcome a 2-for-12 performance from beyond the arc. PFW was 4-for-21 from three-point range.