Summit League Preview: South Dakota Women Host Purdue-Fort Wayne
The Coyotes (14-3/2-1 Summit League) are coming off a week where they traveled to Denver and suffered their first conference loss in more than a year, before returning home for an emotional double-overtime win over South Dakota State.
USD has had six days to prepare for their next opponent, Purdue-Fort Wayne, Saturday (January 12) in Vermillion.
The Mastodons (4-12/0-4 Summit League) are one of the Summit's youngest teams and it's shown so far this season.
Fort Wayne is at or near the bottom of most of the offensive categories in the league, shooting under 40 percent in each of their last three games.
They've also had trouble handling the basketball, turning it over 42 times in a pair of losses last week.
Guard De'Jour Young is the lone senior on the roster. She and junior forward Sh'Toya Sanders lead the scoring, each averaging ten points per game.
Sanders and sophomore center Jaelencia Williams are in the top four in the conference in rebounding.
Opponents are shooting a league-best 48 percent against the Mastodon defense.
Tipoff is noon, Saturday in Vermillion.
Last week, the Coyotes had a 15-game Summit League regular season winning streak snapped with a 104-99 loss at Denver.
USD led by as many as 15 in the first half before the Pioneers found their shooting touch, hitting 67 percent from the floor (20-of-30) and 60 percent from the three-point line (6-of-10) to draw even at intermission.
Denver's red hot shooting continued into the second half, connecting on 58 percent from the floor with another six three-pointers. Guard Lauren Loven scored 19 of her game-high 32 points in the second half as the Pioneers led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter.
The Coyotes rallied to within three points three different times late, but Denver put the game away by going 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the final minute of the game.
Chloe Lamb had a career-high 23 points for South Dakota who turned the ball over 22 times leading to 31 Denver points.
Back home Sunday, the Coyotes used a 10-2 run to take an early lead against South Dakota State, but the Jackrabbits responded with a 13-4 run of their own to pull to within two at halftime.
USD came out cold in the second half, hitting just 39 percent from the floor and just 1-of-6 from the three-point line. That helped SDSU build a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Coyote defense stepped up forcing five turnovers which helped USD take the lead heading into the final moments of regulation.
With the game on the line, SDSU's Macy Miller hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left to send the game to overtime. Miller finished with 31 points to lead all scorers.
In the first OT, the Jackrabbits hit four of their first five shots to lead by seven 2:30 in, but was limited to just a single field goal the rest of the period as USD got a three-pointer from Allison Arens and six straight free throws to send the game to a second extra period.
In the second OT, SDSU missed four of their first five shots and the Coyotes never looked back, outscoring the Jacks 8-3 over the final two minutes to seal a 105-98 double-overtime win.
Ciara Duffy led USD with 28 points.
I talked with USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit about last week's split and the match-up Purdue-Fort Wayne: