VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota came out firing to start the second half, forcing 10 third-quarter turnovers by the Leathernecks and scoring 16-straight points, to pull away with a 70-53 win over Western Illinois inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Thursday night.
A South Dakota (15-4, 8-0 Summit) victory, coupled with a loss by No. 3 Louisville tonight, gave the Coyotes the longest active win streak in the NCAA this season at 13.
Four Coyotes tallied double-figures in the game led by fifth-year senior Liv Korngable’s game-high 16 points. She added five assists and four boards to her tally. Second-year freshman Maddie Krull added 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting with three steals and a pair of assists.
Fifth-year senior Chloe Lamb, named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year midseason watch list earlier this week, added 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting for her fifth-straight game in double-figures. She also stole the ball three times. Freshman Grace Larkins joined the trio in double-digits with 10 points, five boards and a pair of steals.
Western Illinois (11-6, 2-4) held a one-point lead in the first half with stellar play from Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year candidate Danni Nichols. Nichols scored 12 of her team-high 14 points in the first two quarters. Teammate Elizabeth Lutz joined her in double-figures with 12 points.
The Leathernecks outrebounded the Coyotes 36-32 led by a monstrous game on the glass for Evan Zars with 17 boards. All but one of her rebounds was on the defensive end, helping to limit the Coyotes’ second-chance opportunities.
South Dakota’s defense held Western Illinois to their second-lowest point total of the season and the lowest dating back to the Leathernecks’ season opener at Notre Dame.
The Coyotes shot 45.2 percent (28-of-62) from the field and tallied fewer than five 3-pointers for the first time in 2022. Western Illinois finished at 36.7 percent (18-of-49) from the floor and made 9-of-28 (32.1 percent) from behind the arc.
South Dakota plays host to league newcomer St. Thomas at 1 p.m. Saturday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.