VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota junior guard Allison Arens drilled a 3-pointer to shut down a fourth-quarter rally by Creighton and give the Coyotes a 73-68 victory over the Bluejays on Tuesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
South Dakota (1-1) captured its 39th home opener in 47 seasons against the Bluejays (1-1). The Coyotes also move to 14-1 inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
The Coyotes had built up a 14-point cushion near the start of the fourth quarter, but Creighton went on a 13-2 run to make it a one possession game at 61-58. It was Arens’ three that increased the Coyote lead back to six with 3:35 to play in the game.
Sophomore Madison McKeever, a 5-7 guard defending 6-2 junior all-Big East forward Audrey Faber, came away with a pivotal steal shortly thereafter to continue the momentum swing. Arens finished off 10 free throws down the stretch, as the junior scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.
In addition to Arens, the Coyotes had 18 points from senior center Kate Liveringhouse who bested her season high by one and finished 7-of-13 from the field for the second-straight game. She once again was a spark out of the half-time break, scoring back-to-back to back threes at the start of the third quarter.
McKeever tallied nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals in 35 minutes tonight. Junior guard Jaycee Bradley and sophomore guard Ciara Duffy also contributed eight points apiece. Bradley pitched in six rebounds and four assists as well.
Creighton was led by Faber and freshman guard Temi Carda with 15 points each. Sophomore guard Jaylyn Agnew scored 12 points and senior guard Sydney Lamberty added 11 for the Bluejays.
The Coyotes made 24-of-59 (40.7 percent) from the field with six made threes. The defending NCAA Free Throw Percentage champions were 19-of-20 (95 percent) from the stripe tonight.
South Dakota travels to Wichita State (0-2) to face the Shockers at 2 p.m. Saturday in Wichita, Kansas. It will be the first home game of the season for the Shockers, who opened the season with a 66-61 loss to Creighton and then fell at Oklahoma State tonight.
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