USD women’s basketball team picks up first win of the season against Drake

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DES MOINES, Iowa—South Dakota women’s basketball came out firing in the first quarter in the Coyotes’ 61-46 win over Drake on Monday night inside the Knapp Center.

“Tonight our urgency and awareness was very good against a team that really spaces and plays with great pace,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Our ability to get stops and then find ways to turn defense into offense was the difference in the game.”

The Coyotes (1-2) move to 39-0 under Plitzuweit when holding teams to fewer than 50 points. Drake falls to 1-1 under first-year head coach Allison Pohlman.

South Dakota’s trio of super seniors led the way in scoring. Hannah Sjerven tallied her second double-double of the season with 25 points and 12 rebounds. She shot 9-of-14 from the floor and blocked three shots on the defensive end. Liv Korngable tallied 14 points and dished out six assists. Chloe Lamb had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Drake was led by Maggie Bair and Megan Meyer with 10 points apiece.

The Coyotes had nine unanswered points after tip-off and led by 17 points, 29-12, at the end of the first. Lamb had seven of USD’s first nine points at the start. Second-year freshman Kyah Watson dropped a dime to Korngable for a corner three at the first quarter buzzer.

South Dakota’s largest lead of 24 came with 2:39 to play in the first half off a 10-0 run. The Bulldogs were held to 2-for-14 from the field in the second period.

Drake continued to fight into the second half and closed the lead down to 13 twice in the fourth quarter. Attributing to the Drake run, 16 of USD’s 22 turnovers were committed in the second half with the Bulldogs scoring 12 points-off turnovers in the second half. Second-year freshman Maddie Krull knocked down a triple at the shot-clock buzzer to extend the Coyotes lead back to 58-41 and help fend off a Bulldog push in the final three minutes.

The Coyotes shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49) from the floor and made 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the stripe. The Bulldogs finished at 25.9 percent (15-of-58) from the field and 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the free-throw line.

Also of note, playing in front of her hometown crowd, freshman Grace Larkins (Southeast Polk HS) came up with five steals on the night.

South Dakota returns home to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center to host Briar Cliff at 7 p.m. Thursday. It will be the squad’s final competition ahead of the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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