VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — A blazing second-half of shooting helped No. 20/12 South Dakota overcome an icy start and the Coyotes completed an undefeated season inside the Summit League for the second time in three seasons with a 76-47 win against North Dakota on Senior Day inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
South Dakota (27-2, 16-0) is the only program to run the table in Summit League history and now the Coyotes have done it twice with its first coming in 2018. The Coyotes are the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Summit League Tournament. They will take on Omaha at noon Saturday at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.
“Today was truly a great day where we got to honor a very special group of four seniors and also a team that has accomplished a lot to this point in the season,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “We pride ourselves on living in the precious present and we will in enjoy this moment, but then we will begin to prepare for our first round game on Saturday.
“We hope to see Coyote nation out in full force for the Summit League Tournament as we look to paint the Premier Center red next week!”
Just like the earlier meeting with North Dakota, Coyote seniors Ciara Duffy and Taylor Frederick led the way with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Juniors Monica Arens and Hannah Sjerven added 11 points apiece.
North Dakota (15-14, 6-10) trailed 31-26 at the break, but South Dakota outscored the Fighting Hawks 28-8 in the third quarter to put it away. Just like the first meeting, no UND player reached double figures. Jaclyn Jarnot led the Hawks with eight points.
South Dakota honored its senior class by switching up the starting lineups on Saturday. Senior Megan Bonar earned her first career start and scored the first points of the basketball game on a pair of made free throws.
Duffy added seven rebounds and five assists to her stat line, while Frederick had six boards. Senior guard Madison McKeever stole the ball a season-high five times to move into fourth in school history for career steals. She also handed out three assists and grabbed four boards.
The Coyotes shot a blistering 68.8 percent in the third quarter to run away with it.
USD finished 27-of-65 from the field for 41.5 percent in the game, outscoring North Dakota 40-24 in the paint.
This year’s senior class is the first to play all four years inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, where they boast a 57-4 record on Abbott Court. The seniors’ four-year winning percentage (.817) is better than any other four-year stretch in program history.
No. 20/12 South Dakota tips off the Summit League Tournament at noon next Saturday inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The Coyotes will face eighth-seeded Omaha in the quarterfinals.