VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota’s defense held Northern Colorado to 33 points through the first three frames en route to a 72-59 victory on Tuesday night.
Tuesday was the Coyotes’ 100th game inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, with South Dakota (2-1) improving to 87-13 all-time on Abbott Court.
Junior guard Grace Larkins led the way with 17 points, seven boards and five assists. Senior forward Tori DePerry came off the bench to add 15 points and four rebounds. Fourth-year sophomore Natalie Mazurek tied her career high from two years ago, scoring 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting while adding six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Northern Colorado forward Delaynie Byrne led the Bears with a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards. She had five off the offensive glass.
Neither South Dakota nor Northern Colorado (1-1) were firing off from deep on Tuesday night. The Bears hit 14 3-pointers in their season opener at a 48.3 percent clip but were held to 2-of-18 tonight.
The Coyotes were 4-of-18 from outside, but instead capitalized by attacking inside and drawing fouls to reach the free-throw line. USD finished 20-of-25 for 80 percent from the stripe in the game. South Dakota also had 38 points in the paint.
After three-straight quarters of holding Northern Colorado to 11 points, the Bears put up 26 points in a fourth-quarter charge. UNC’s Tatum West scored 10 of her 12 points on the night in that final frame. The Bears also went 9-of-13 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. South Dakota held off the late charge, making 8-of-10 from the line down the stretch.
Behind DePerry and Mazurek, the Coyote bench outscored the Bears’ 35-11. South Dakota went nine players deep with balanced minutes.
South Dakota shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56) overall from the floor.
The Coyotes head to the Caribbean later this week for the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas. South Dakota plays DePaul in game one of the tournament at 6:30 p.m. (Central) Saturday.