VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — A staunch defensive effort helped South Dakota to a 62-39 victory over Bradley on Monday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

The Coyotes (5-4) posted their best defensive effort against a Division I team this season, holding the Braves to less than 10 points in the first two quarters of the game. It marked the first time this season that Bradley (3-4) has scored fewer than 50 points in a game.

“Tonight was a defensive battle and we did a very good job of sticking to our assignments versus a very good offensive team in Bradley,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “We will turn our attention to finals week and we look forward to playing at home on Friday in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.”

South Dakota had one of its most balanced scoring efforts of the season tonight as well. Sixth-year senior Hannah Sjerven and fifth-year senior Chloe Lamb were the only two in double-figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Fifth-year senior Liv Korngable and freshman Grace Larkins both finished with nine points. Second-year freshmen Kyah Watson and Maddie Krull added seven and six, respectively, while third-year sophomore Jeniah Ugofsky had five and junior Macy Guebert hit a three.

The Coyote defense held the Missouri Valley’s second-leading scorer in Gabi Haack to just 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. Haack was the only Brave in double-digits.

South Dakota moves to 40-0 under Plitzuweit when holding foes to less than 50 points.

The turnover battle was one to watch entering the game, with Bradley entering the contest ranked sixth in the nation for fewest turnovers and USD leading the Summit in turnovers forced. The Coyotes capitalized on the turnover margin, forcing 17 Brave turnovers and scoring 12 points-off turnovers.

The Coyotes also outscored the Braves 32-4 in the paint and outrebounded Bradley, putting up 17 second-chance points on 13 offensive boards. Watson led the Coyotes on the glass with eight total rebounds and four offensive boards.

South Dakota returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday to host Valparaiso inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.