WBB: USD Cracks AP Top 25

VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota women’s basketball enters the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time this season at No. 25. It marks the third time in program history the Coyotes have made the AP Top 25, following a two-week stint last February.

The Coyotes become the fifth team in Summit League history to earn a spot in the AP Top 25, following Northern Illinois (1992-93, 1993-94), South Dakota State (2008-09) and last year’s South Dakota team (2018-19).

No. 25 South Dakota has already been ranked for two weeks in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Coyotes entered the coaches’ poll, which comes out on Tuesdays, on Dec. 3 and moved up to No. 21 last week.

The Coyotes (11-1) have been receiving votes in both polls since the start of the season. The first team out of the poll a week ago, USD moved past a Miami (5-3) this week.

South Dakota has put together wins against the Big Ten’s Ohio State, the SEC’s Missouri and the Pac-12’s Utah this season. The Coyotes also have nonconference wins over preseason Missouri Valley favorite Drake, Horizon League favorite Green Bay and the Big East’s Creighton. The lone loss on the year came at the hands of No. 20 Missouri State.

The Coyotes and the Bears join No. 17 Gonzaga as the three mid-majors in the poll.

Senior guard Ciara Duffy leads the Coyotes with 16.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. Joining her in double-figures through 12 games are junior center Hannah Sjerven with 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, along with junior guard Chloe Lamb with 10.2 points and 2.7 assists per game.

Next on the docket for South Dakota is No. 5 South Carolina at 11 a.m. (CT) next Sunday.