ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (USD) — Northwestern utilized a 15-3 run in the final four minutes of the game to pull away from South Dakota 73-57 on Thursday night in the first game of the Paradise Jam held at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
“Tonight was the type of game that will help us grow and improve as we continue to face different styles of play early on this season,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “We want to play the best competition possible in our nonconference and this tournament is certainly no exception. We will work to get prepared for a very good team in Texas A&M tomorrow night.”
South Dakota (2-3) is in the midst of one of the program’s most challenging nonconference slates in school history. All three of the team’s losses have been to Power 5 programs. The Coyotes next two opponents in the Paradise Jam are also high major foes – No. 23/18 Texas A&M of the SEC and Pitt from the ACC.
Senior guard Chloe Lamb dropped a season-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting with five 3-pointers. It marked Lamb’s first game with five threes since last January. Senior center Hannah Sjerven joined her in double-figures with 13 points.
Northwestern (4-1) put four players in double-figures led by Caileigh Walsh’s 20 points and Veronica Burton’s 19. Lauryn Satterwhite and Courtney Shaw added 15 and 12, respectively.
The Coyotes knocked down the first basket of the game as second-year freshman Kyah Watson drilled a 3-pointer in USD’s first possession. That would be USD’s only lead of the game as Northwestern scored the next seven points and never relinquished the lead. The Wildcats created a double-digit lead at the beginning of the second half, but USD utilized a 12-2 lead to close the gap to two points, 45-43, at the end of the third quarter. Second-year freshman Maddie Krull dished it between the defenders to classmate Natalie Mazurek for a layup in the final seconds of the frame.
Walsh knocked down her only two threes of the game within a minute of one another to kick off the Wildcats’ 15-3 run down the homestretch.
South Dakota shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the field and made a season-best 45 percent (9-of-20) from deep. Northwestern knocked down 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, also making nine threes. The Wildcats outscored the Coyotes 32-14 in the paint.
The Coyotes tip off against No. 23/18 Texas A&M at 7 p.m. CST (9 p.m. locally) on Friday for their second game of the Paradise Jam.