VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — Drake got a game-high 16 points from Megan Meyer and scored the final 18 points of the first half in getting past South Dakota 83-54 Tuesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Drake improved to 5-2 with the win and avenged last year’s 61-46 loss to South Dakota in Des Moines. South Dakota has lost four in a row to dip to 4-5 overall.

Drake has scored at least 80 points in all seven games this season. They got there again Tuesday by shooting 51 percent from the field (36-of-70). And that was despite a 4-of-18 effort from beyond the arc. Meyer (7-of-11), Maggie Bair (6-of-9) and Grace Berg (6-of-10) combined to make 19-of-30 shots. Bair had 14 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double. Berg has 12 points.

South Dakota was outrebounded 54-33 by its bigger foe and Drake’s length also helped hold the Coyotes to a season-low 28 percent shooting. It’s the second time during this losing skid USD has been held to less than 30 percent from the field. Grace Larkins led South Dakota with 13 points, but needed 19 shots to get there. Morgan Hansen contributed 10 points in earning her first start as a Coyote.

The game was tight until Drake’s blitz to end the first half. The Bulldogs led 16-14 after one and 26-19 with six minutes to go in the second quarter. But Drake made eight of its next 10 shots from the field while holding South Dakota to 0-of-9. In the blink of an eye, it was 44-19 Bulldogs at the break.

“Our players continue to gain experience with each game, and our job as coaches is to push them to embrace and conquer the challenges,” said USD head coach Kayla Karius, who served as an assistant coach at Drake last season. “This will only make us better.”

South Dakota was playing the first game of a season-long, five-game home stand that includes the first two games of Summit League play. The Coyotes stay out-of-conference for a noon tip against Montana Sunday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.