VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota women’s basketball is scheduled to face Ohio State and Northern Illinois at the 2019 South Point Shootout over Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We are thrilled to be playing in the South Point Shootout this season,” said South Dakota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “The field is incredibly competitive and we are taking on two great teams in Ohio State and Northern Illinois! We hope to see quite a few Coyote faithful in Las Vegas supporting our crew over Thanksgiving.”
South Dakota (28-6, 14-2 Summit League) returns 11 players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team. The Coyotes bring back nearly 84 percent of their scoring from a season ago, including two-time Academic All-American Ciara Duffy and Summit League Sixth Woman of the Year Hannah Sjerven. The Coyotes also return three other starters in senior Madison McKeever, senior Taylor Frederick and junior Chloe Lamb.
Ohio State (14-15, 10-8 Big Ten) won the Big Ten regular season in back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018. The Buckeyes have made the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five years with a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Ohio State’s 2019-20 roster includes one senior with 10 underclassmen. Pacing the Buckeye returners will be sophomore forward Dorka Juhász who averaged nearly 12 points and nine rebounds to earn all-Big Ten second team accolades last year.
This will be the first meeting between South Dakota and Ohio State.
Northern Illinois (19-13, 10-8 MAC) advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament last year. The Huskies return 67 percent of their scoring from 2018-19, led by junior Gabby Nikitinaite’s 12.1 points and senior Myia Starks’ 11.7 points per game. Northern Illinois brings back plenty of experience with four returning starters and nine upperclassmen on its roster.
This will be the second meeting between Plitzuweit’s Coyotes and Northern Illinois. South Dakota took the first meeting 97-83 on another neutral floor back in 2016.
The South Point Shootout will be held at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Vegas. South Dakota is scheduled to face Ohio State on Friday, Nov. 29, followed by a game against Northern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 30.