WBB: USD, SDSU get home wins

VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota women’s basketball knocked off the SEC’s Missouri 72-56 in front of 2,407 fans inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Thursday night. It marked the second-straight victory over a Power 5 opponent for the Coyotes, who have won six games against major schools in the last four seasons.

“Our team played with a lot of poise tonight against a very good team in Missouri,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Our ability to handle a variety of defenses from Mizzou and defend from start to finish was the difference in the game.

“Tonight the environment inside the SCSC was absolutely electric and our fans made an impact on the game from start to finish. We will need to pack the Sanford Coyote Sports Center again on Monday as we host a team in Missouri State that is playing really good basketball.”

For the first time this season, the Coyotes (5-0) topped an opponent by more than 10 points and ran away with it in regulation. Missouri (1-4), who has also had a pair of overtime games this year, loses its first contest by double-figures.

Another game, another career high for junior guard Monica Arens. She’s tallied three new career highs in five games this season. Arens finished with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while also grabbing six boards in the contest.

Senior guard Ciara Duffy was limited to 13 points in the contest, but dished out eight assists to become the fifth player in South Dakota program history to tally 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists (Amber Hegge, Nicole Seekamp, Tia Hemiller, Allison Arens).

Senior forward Taylor Frederick was the third Coyote in double-figures with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while also pulling down five rebounds.

The Tigers and the Coyotes battled it out in the first half with neither team leading by more than two possessions. Duffy drilled a pair of 3-pointers within a minute to kick off South Dakota’s 17-6 run at the end of the second quarter.

South Dakota led by nine after the third quarter and the Coyotes pulled away further in the fourth. Junior center Hannah Sjerven drilled her first 3-point attempt of the season to put the Coyotes up 59-44 midway through the final period. The Coyotes remained steady down the stretch to top the Tigers 72-56.

The Tigers were led by freshman forward Hayley Frank’s 15 points off the bench. Senior guard Jordan Chavis and freshman guard Aijha Blackwell both joined her in double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

South Dakota made 47.2 percent (23-of-53) from the field while Mizzou shot 34.5 percent (19-of-55) from the floor. The Coyotes also sank 11-of-22 from behind the arc with Sjerven, freshman forward Jeniah Ugofsky and junior guard Claudia Kunzer making their first or second 3-pointers of the season.

South Dakota welcomes a top-25 team to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Monday night, as the Coyotes tip-off against No. 22 Missouri State at 7 p.m.

(Brookings) The South Dakota State University women's basketball team topped Montana State, 60-50, on Thursday night at Frost Arena.

The Jackrabbits improved to 2-2, as the Bobcats picked up its first loss of the season, falling to 3-1.

"I thought defensively we played very good and very solid throughout the game and that was important to us," said head coach Aaron Johnston. "I think on that side we've been a little up and down our first few games, so I thought defensively we played really well. We really worked hard at it this week, too, so I'm happy for them that they got to see some of those results out there."

A pair of Jacks scored in double figures led by Paiton Burckhard with 15 points, closely followed by Tagyn Larson with an early season-high off 14 points. Tylee Irwin led the rebounding efforts as she grabbed seven boards. Myah Selland held a team-best three assists, while adding six rebounds.

Neither team really got off to a quick start in the game, but Montana State held a 7-2 advantage midway through the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Irwin kicked off a 12-2 Jackrabbit run to take a 14-10 lead at the end of the opening frame.

Play was even through the remainder of the half has the Jackrabbits held just a 13-12 advantage in second quarter points. Back-to-back baskets by Larson and Tori Nelson gave State and eight-point lead, but the Bobcats outscored the Jacks 5-2 in the final three minutes of the quarter to cut State's lead to 27-22 at the half.

The Jackrabbits came out swinging in the second half as a 3-pointer from Larson started a quarter where State would put up 24 points. Montana State made a layup at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter, but that was the last basket they would see for nearly four minutes as the Jackrabbits went on a 10-0 run to extend its lead to 46-27. The Bobcats hit a pair of free throws with 1:52 remaining in the quarter, but a layup from Larson followed by a second chance basket and free throw by Burckhard closed out the quarter with the Jacks leading 51-29.

"We had a really nice third quarter," Johnston said. "That was one I feel good about and they can build on that in the offensive end."

A second-chance 3-pointer from Tori Nelson gave the Jackrabbits their largest lead of 24 points in the final frame. The Bobcats would outscore the Jackrabbits 19-5 throughout the remainder of the game, but the advantage was enough to push State to a 60-50 victory.

Game Notes
• The Jackrabbits shot 56.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from long distance in the third quarter.
• The Jackrabbit defense held the Bobcats to just seven points in the third quarter.
• Tori Nelson recorded a career best nine points, including shooting 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
• State held a 38.5 field goal percentage, while holding the Bobcats to 28.1 percent.
• SDSU held a 44-40 rebounding advantage.

Up Next
South Dakota State remains home as it hosts Wyoming on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Frost Arena.