VERMILLION — Maddie Krull thought about it for a second.

Asked if there was one play in particular during Sunday’s game where she especially felt like her confidence is growing, the South Dakota freshman went back to a play that will likely garner thousands of views on social media in the next few days.

She had the ball in her hands with 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter. She bounced the ball to her left hand, drove around an Oral Roberts defender — who hit the floor on the crossover — for a layup.

It was, Krull admitted, a “big moment” in the continued progression of the freshman point guard from Omaha, Nebraska.

“I don’t think at the end of quarters I’ve ever watched the shot clock until the time we’re supposed to run a play,” Krull said after USD’s 76-54 rout at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

“I felt confident with the ball in my mind and I took my time on the play.”

Even her coach referenced the same play: Dawn Plitzuweit called Krull’s drive just ahead of the halftime buzzer “explosive” — “that was fun to see,” the coach added.

Thrust into the starting point guard position in her rookie season at USD, Krull has proven time and again that she’s not overwhelmed by the magnitude of the moment.

Coming into Sunday, she was averaging 8.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, and Sunday finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

“She’s so good at getting to the rim, and knowing when to score it and when to kick it,” Plitzuweit said.

“As time goes on, that’s something she’ll get more and more comfortable with.”

Not only is Krull counted on for her defense, she’s continuing to show positive signs on offense, Plitzuweit added.

“She’s really becoming comfortable and confident on the offensive end,” the coach said.

Coupled with South Dakota State’s sweep of the Coyotes and the Jacks winning twice this weekend, the Coyotes (14-5, 10-2) are locked into the No. 2 seed for the Summit League Tournament.

South Dakota already knew that was likely, even after Saturday’s 77-54 victory over Oral Roberts. The task was, treating Sunday like it could be a completely different situation, according to senior Chloe Lamb.

“Having the result we did (Saturday), you come in thinking, ‘OK, we’ll be ok,’” Lamb said. “As much as you try to not have that mindset, it creeps in there a little bit.”

It may have taken the Coyotes a little bit to start clicking on offense on Sunday afternoon, but in time, it was going to come — and when it did, it opened the floodgates.

South Dakota scored 27 points in the second quarter, and put together runs of 15-0 and 8-0 on the way to a commanding 46-19 halftime lead.

The Coyote lead reached as much as 40 (71-31) on a Krull basket early in the the fourth quarter, but ORU then started chipping away when USD put in some reserves.

The Golden Eagles (6-14, 4-8) out-scored the Coyotes 23-7 in the fourth quarter, but never mounted a serious enough rally to make USD sweat.

South Dakota’s defense limited ORU to 33 percent shooting on Sunday and 31 percent over the two games in the series.

The Coyotes continue to show spurts of being a dominant defensive team, according to Lamb.

“There are spans and multiple possessions that we put together that are really good, but we’re still working through trying to get a whole game together,” she said.

Hannah Sjerven paced USD on Sunday with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Lamb added 12 points. Alexi Hempe had nine points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Liv Korngable scored eight points.

The Coyotes close out the regular season with a home series against North Dakota State next Saturday and Sunday.

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ORAL ROBERTS (6-14, 4-8)

Tierney Coleman 1-13 1-1 3; Ariel Walker 5-8 1-2 14; Regan Schumacher 1-6 0-0 2; Addisyn Moore 3-5 1-2 7; Keni Jo Lippe 4-15 1-6 10; Camryn Hill 3-7 0-1 6; Sinetra Jones 0-0 0-0 0; Faith Paramore 4-10 3-5 12; Hannah Giddey 0-0 0-2 0. TOTALS 21-64 7-15 54.

SOUTH DAKOTA (14-5, 10-2)

Liv Korngable 3-8 0-1 8; Chloe Lamb 4-8 3-4 12; Jeniah Ugofsky 2-3 0-0 4; Hannah Sjerven 7-10 3-4 18; Maddie Krull 5-13 4-4 14; Claudia Kunzer 0-4 1-2 1; Morgan Hansen 1-8 2-2 5; Regan Sankey 0-1 0-0 0; Natalie Mazurek 0-2 0-0 0; Macy Guebert 1-2 0-0 3; Aspen Williston 0-0 2-2 2; Allison Peplowski 0-0 0-0 0; Alexi Hempe 3-5 1-2 9. TOTALS 26-64 16-21 76.

ORAL ROBERTS 10 9 12 23 — 54

SOUTH DAKOTA 19 27 23 7 — 76

Three-Pointers — USD 8-24 (Hempe 2-2, Korngable 2-5, Sjerven 1-1, Guebert 1-2, Lamb 1-4, Hansen 1-4, Ugofsky 0-1, Kunzer 0-1, Sankey 0-1, Mazurek 0-1, Krull 0-2), ORU 5-20 (Walker 3-3, Paramore 1-4, Lippe 1-6, Schumacher 0-1, Hill 0-2, Coleman 0-4). Total Rebounds — USD 47 (Sjerven 10), ORU 37 (Lippe 10). Assists — USD 12 (Lamb 3), ORU 9 (three with 2). Turnovers — ORU 13, USD 12. Personal Fouls — USD 20, ORU 19. Fouled Out — None.


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