VERMILLION – It was an absolutely dominate effort from the South Dakota women’s basketball team on Saturday.

The Coyotes (18-3, 6-1 in Summit) routed Western Illinois (8-12, 4-3 in Summit) 92-49 in the teams’ second game in three-days.

“The biggest thing for us over the stretch, has been a find-a-way mentality,” South Dakota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “We have done really well on the defensive end of the ball the last two games, and the offense seems to come with it.”

The Coyotes hit their first seven-of-eight shots and five-of-six from deep, which helped open up a 12-point lead after the first quarter.

Chloe Lamb (15 points, 6-10 FGA) helped that cause, going four-for-four from the field in the first quarter, with 11 points.

“The biggest thing for us over the stretch, has been a find-a-way mentality,” Plitzuweit said. “We have done really well on the defensive end of the ball the last two games, and the offense seems to come with it.”

South Dakota held Western Illinois to just seven second quarter points, which advanced the lead to 48-18 at halftime.

“We had a good defensive plan going in, a really specific plan, this (Western Illinois) is a really good team,” Duffy said. “They have been playing really well on the offensive end. We were proud of how we executed tonight.”

The outside shooting benefited Hannah Sjerven (22 points, career-high 13 rebounds, three blocks), as she was able to put up 13 points in the second quarter alone.

“When your team is shooting such high-percentage on three-pointers, it really opens things up,” Sjerven said. “I was able to get a lot of one-on-one's.”

Ciara Duffy (12 points, eight assists) felt the shooting efficiency from the first half (19-31 FGA) opened-up the whole offense.

“It was super important, because then, we were able to go inside-out,” Duffy said. “Getting a lot to Hannah, because they had to guard the three-point line. I think that’s the beauty of this team this year, is that we don’t have to live-and-die by the three.”

The Leathernecks responded in the third quarter, coming out with an 8-0 run. However, the Coyotes turned that to a distant memory, with an 11-2 run of their own.

“Western Illinois does such a good job of playing angles and making passes tough,” Plitzuweit said. “Against a lot of zones, you’re able to move and swing the ball. They make that difficult for you. As we started to move it better, we got better, looks, and created opportunities where they had to collapse inside.”

The high-powered Coyotes opened-up a 48-point lead late in the fourth, where Plitzuweit credits the keen observation of the smaller details.

“Our ladies did a great job of being attentive to details,” she said. “They took care of the ball after the first quarter. Western Illinois is very sound, and well coached, and we played very well today.”

The Coyotes take their six-game winning streak back on the road, as they face Purdue-Fort Wayne next Saturday.

The contest against the Mastadons marks the fourth away game out of their last five, as Plitzuweit had this stretch marked on her calendar.

“We knew that this was our toughest stretch, even in the non-conference standpoint, just the days away from classes and the travel,” she said. “I think our training staff; conditioning staff and our athletic staff does a great job to keep our players as physically ready to play as possible.”

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Annabel Graettinger 4-8 1-3 10, Danni Nichols 5-14 2-2 16, Olivia Kaufmann 3-12 1-1 8, Grace Gilmore 1-7 2-2 5, Taylor Higginbotham 0-3 0-0 0, Payton Courier 0-2 0-0 0, Elizabeth Lutz 0-4 0-0 0, Mackenzie Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, Avery Hamm 2-4 0-0 5, Kyra Washington 1-3 0-0 3, Jinda Guidinger 1-4 0-0 2. TOTALS: 17-61 6-8 49.

SOUTH DAKOTA (19-3, 7-1)

Taylor Frederick 4-5 2-2 11, Allison Arens 4-5 1-2 13, Chloe Lamb 6-10 0-0 15, Madison McKeever 4-9 0-0 9, Ciara Duffy 5-11 0-0 12, Claudia Kunzer 0-0 0-0 0, Liv Korngable 3-5 0-0 8, Courtney Schoenbeck 0-1 0-0 0, Monica Arens 0-1 0-0 0, Regan Sankey 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor Terronez 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Sjerven 9-16 4-5 22, Allison Peplowski 1-4 0-0 2. TOTALS: 36-70 7-9 92.

WESTERN ILLINOIS 11 7 20 11 — 49

SOUTH DAKOTA 23 25 23 21 — 92

Three-Pointers: USD 13-25 (A. Arens 4-4, Lamb 3-6, Duffy 2-5, Korngable 2-4, Frederick 1-1, McKeever 1-1, Schoenbeck 0-1, Terronez 0-1), WIU 9-30 (Nichols 4-8, Graettinger 1-3, Kaufmann 1-4, Gilmore 1-4, Hamm 1-3, Washington 1-2, Courier 0-1, Lutz 0-4, Guidinger 0-1). Rebounds: USD 52 (Sjerven 13), WIU 26 (Higginbotham 5, Washington 5). Personal Fouls: USD 18, WIU 12. Fouled Out: None. Assists: USD 24 (Duffy 8), WIU 12 (Kaufmann 6). Turnovers: WIU 16, USD 15. Blocked Shots: USD 6 (Sjerven 3), WIU 1 (Gilmore). Steals: USD 7 (A. Arens 2), WIU 6 (Kaufmann 4). Attendance: 2,568.


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