For the fifth time in six seasons, the South Dakota women’s basketball team will be playing for the Summit League Tournament Championship.

The USD defense allowed just 22 second half points to Oral Roberts, limiting the Golden Eagles to under 38 poercent shooting overall, in a 65-53 win in Sioux Falls.

If there was one area of concern for the Coyotes against Oral Robefrts it was the first quarter. In both meetings with the Golden Eagles this season, ORU led after ten minutes - by seven in the first game and by six in the second.

USD made sure that wasn’t an issue in this one, hitting back-to-back three-pointers to start the game, opening up a four-point lead early.

Summit League Sixth Woman and Defensive Player of the Year Jasmine Trimbol provided a spark off the bench with a couple of steals midway through the quarter, helping to stretch the advantage to eight points. That lead would have been bigger but South Dakota failed to convert on a number of shots within five feet of the basket.

Oral Roberts starfted stringing together possessions late in the quarter, as Maya Mayberry scored on back-to-back trips, keying a Golden Eagles 9-2 run to pull to within a point after ten minutes.

In the second quarter, the Coyote defense began to exert themselves, as ORU went cold hitting just one of their first ten shots and going nearly five minutes without a field goal.

During that stretch, Chloe Lamb came in off of the USD bench to score five points, and the Coyotes lead was ten, 29-19.

Oral Roberts again rallied late, scoring on five of their last six possessions to cut the USD lead to 36-31 at intermission. Maria Martianez had six straight points during that stretch.

The Coyotes came out of the locker room and scored the first four points of the third quarter to go back up by ten. But then the USD offense hit a wall. The Coyotes misfired on six straight, going more than seven minutes without a field goal, as Oral Roberts cut the lead to two.

But USD came to life in the final seconds of the third with a five straight points from Kate Liveringhouse and a buzzer-beating three from Monica Arens to give the Coyotes a 49-41 lead after three.

South Dakota extrended the lead to as many as 14 in the fourth, as ORU shot just 25 percent in the final ten minutes.

Liveringhouse led all scorers with 19 points, Allison Arens added 12 rebounds. Mayberry was the  only Golden Eagle in double figures, scoring 17 points.

South Dakota gets the winner of South Dakota State - Western Illinois in Tuesday’s (March 6) title game. Tipoff is 1:00 PM at the Premier Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.

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