BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO)- The USD Coyotes earned a season sweep of in-state rival SDSU as the Coyotes earned a 77-67 win over the Jacks on Saturday.
“I thought that was a very good basketball game and I thought that South Dakota State played incredibly hard. I thought the fans really got into it and made it a very difficult environment to play in and certainly we feel very fortunate to come out on top,” Dawn Plitzuweit said.
“They made shots in the second half and they made every shot that they needed to make. I thought we played certainly hard enough and at times well enough. Maybe just a little bit loose on offense and defense, I mean just a few possessions here or there that we wish we could have back, but they just played really solid throughout,” Aaron Johnston said.
The Coyotes had four players score in double digits including USD junior, Chloe Lamb. Lamb scored a game high 22 points including four made threes.
“Chloe made a lot of big shots for us certainly and really in the first half she did a great job of hitting shots that weren’t really that open, I thought they were fairly contested shots. In the third quarter, we didn’t get her the opportunities and in the fourth quarter she hit some pull up, kind of mid-range shots for us,” Plitzuweit said.
“My teammates do a great job of finding me and I know the key (Ciara Duffy) can do it all night and every night, so hopefully I could take some pressure of her shoulders. I’m trying to do whatever I can to help out our team. I think everyone is trying to do whatever they can to come out on top,” Chloe Lamb said.
The Coyotes also found a tremendous amount of success on defense in the first half as USD held the Jackrabbits to just 26 points in the first two quarters.
“You know they’ve always played tough defense, especially the last game. I think we struggled in the beginning, trying to get into a flow, but throughout the game, we played harder and got good shots,’ Tori Nelson said.
USD has now clinched the Summit League regular season title as the Coyotes are now a perfect 15-0 in conference play. A lot of the conference success that the Yotes have had can be credited to their tough non-conference schedule.
“Knowing that we kind of have that in our back pocket, we can say that we’ve been through that before and that puts a little confidence in us and we can look to each and say ‘we’ve done this before, lets do it again,” Lamb said.
“I think that those well placed, close games kind of keep us on our toes and it reminds us of the intensity that we need to come out with every single game and it’s definitely been a good reminder for us and I think we’re going to take that with us against UND and then into the Summit League tournament,” Ciara Duffy said.
The Coyotes may have beaten the Jacks twice this season, but the potential for another meeting is still quite high. The Jacks and Yotes have met for the Summit League championship the last two seasons and that could easily happen again.
“Well I think we have an awful lot that we can go back on film and analyze, where we can do a better job, especially on the defensive end. We talk a little bit about the rebounding aspect of it and we really tried to limit their post touch opportunities,” Plitzuweit said.
“We’re going to have to find a way to slow them down offensively. It really wasn’t pace that got us, it was more of the execution, because they executed very well offensively, and we’re going to have to find a way to be more consistent offensively,” Johnson said.
The Coyotes will close out their regular season on Saturday, February 29 as the Coyotes will host UND at 1:00. The Jackrabbits will look to close out their season with a win as they travel to Fargo on Thursday, February 27 for a 5:00 tip-off with NDSU.