PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (USD) — Arizona started the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run to pull away from South Dakota in a 61-52 win Monday afternoon in the consolation game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Imperial Arena inside the Atlantis Resort.
South Dakota (3-3) heads home with a fourth-place finish at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Sophomore center Walker Demers led the Coyotes with a career high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including knocking down three from deep. She grabbed seven rebounds and had two steals.
Junior guards Grace Larkins and Kendall Holmes joined her in double-figures. Larkins had 13 points and six rebounds. Holmes finished with 12 points, three assists and a pair of steals.
Arizona (6-1), who is receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls, capitalized with 24 points off turnovers and outscored USD 32-24 in the paint. The Wildcats were led by Esmery Martinez with 14 points and Jada Williams with 13.
The Coyotes and Wildcats were evenly matched until midway through the second quarter. Arizona’s Skylar Jones knocked down back-to-back 3-pionters, her only three pointers of the game, with six minutes to go in the second period to make it a 21-14 lead for Arizona.
South Dakota zoned the Wildcats in the third quarter on defense and Demers got going on offense, scoring 10 of her 16 points in the frame. Demers knocked down a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining in the third quarter to tie the game at 39.
The Coyotes had three turnovers to start of the fourth quarter that allowed Arizona to jump out to a 45-39 advantage. The Wildcats had 11 points off turnovers in the final period.
South Dakota returns stateside to face South Carolina State at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.