Coyote guard Liv Korngable

South Dakota's Liv Korngable goes up for a shot against South Carolina in the Mammoth Sports Construction Invitational at the Sanford Pentagon Friday night.

SIOUX FALLS — For the third time in three years, the University of South Dakota’s women’s basketball team took on perennial powerhouse South Carolina, who is ranked No. 1 to start the 2021-22 season, and for the third straight time, the Gamecocks came out on top.

“I thought we did a really good job of making them second guess or making them play a little bit faster than they wanted to,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “If you sit back and allow them (USD) to be the fine-oiled machined that they are, they can make it a long night, so I thought we imposed our defensive will on them.”

The Gamecocks (2-0) defeated USD 72-41 in the Mammoth Sports Construction Invitational at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls Friday night.

“Life is different playing South Carolina than any other team in the country,” USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “That’s really challenging. We were trying to get to the point where we could cut it down under 10 and build from there but when they impose their will, there’s not a whole lot that you can do about it.”

The Coyotes (0-2) took on receiving votes Oklahoma Tuesday night and No. 1 South Carolina Friday. South Carolina took advantage of their height with Aliyah Boston (6-5) and Kamilla Cardoso (6-7) leading South Carolina to a 52-29 rebound advantage.

“If we’re playing against a team that plays two post kids and they’re 6-4, 6-5, 6-7 and we’re trying to make them feel rushed and they don’t feel rushed, I don’t know what else we really can do against that,” Plitzuweit said. “We were certainly put in a major disadvantage in that situation because we couldn’t match up inside with them very well.”

The Coyotes started out slow, not scoring until the 3:17 mark of the first quarter, but held South Carolina to 10 points in that time. For the remainder of the first half, USD hung in with the Gamecocks, in large part to Liv Korngable’s 18 first half points. USD trailed 39-24 at the half.

“Without that, it certainly wouldn’t have felt like we were even in the game,” Plitzuweit said of Korngable’s first half performance. “Liv is a very special, elite scorer and we’ve got to bring other kids along. I think we’re getting some really good shots from some other kids and they’ve got to score it, and they have to score it with confidence.”

Korngable finished with 24 points to pace the Coyotes, who were unable to claw back into the Gamecock’s lead in the second half, slowly falling further behind the top team in the nation. Korngable tied her career high with those 24 points.

The Coyotes fell to 0-2 with the loss, and travel to face a familiar foe in Drake Monday night in Des Moines, Iowa. South Carolina starts the season with two road wins over No. 5 North Carolina State and South Dakota.

Destanni Henderson led South Carolina with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. Zia Cooke added 10 points and Boston nine. Cardoso tallied nine points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Chloe Lamb was the other Coyote scorer in double figures, tallying 10 points. Hannah Sjerven added five points and freshman Grace Larkins two points.

The Coyotes are at Drake Monday night at 6 p.m. The Coyotes next home game is against Briar Cliff Thursday, Nov. 18.

“We’re just sticking to our journey, sticking to our goals,” Korngable said. “In the preseason, we are here to play the best and to get better form that and to learn from those game. Continuing to get better throughout this process is how we stay together.”

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SOUTH CAROLINA (2-0)

Destanni Henderson 5-8 1-2 15, Zia Cooke 3-9 3-3 10, Aliyah Boston 4-8 1-1 9, Victaria Saxton 3-5 0-0 6, Brea Beal 2-4 0-0 4, Kamilla Cardoso 4-6 1-3 9, Bree Hall 2-3 0-0 6, Destiny Littleton 2-8 0-0 5, Laeticia Amihere 1-4 2-2 4, Sania Feagin 2-2 0-0 4, Eniya Russell 0-1 0-0 0, Elysa Wesolek 0-1 0-0 0, Olivia Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Raven Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 28-60 8-11 72.

SOUTH DAKOTA (0-2)

Liv Korngable 8-15 8-11 24, Chloe Lamb 4-18 1-2 10, Hannah Sjerven 2-10 1-2 5, Maddie Krull 0-4 0-2 0, Kyla Watson 0-4 0-0 0, Grace Larkins 1-6 0-0 2, Natalie Mazurek 0-1 0-0 0, Jeniah Ugofsky 0-0 0-0 0, Allison Peplowski 0-1 0-0 0, Macy Guebert 0-0 0-0 0, Regan Sankey 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15-60 10-17 41.

SOUTH CAROLINA 17 22 16 17 — 72

SOUTH DAKOTA 7 17 10 7 — 41

Three-Pointers: SC 8-20 (Henderson 4-5, Hall 2-2, Littleton 1-6, Cooke 1-4, Boston 0-1, Wesolek 0-1, Thompson 0-1), SD 1-13 (Lamb 1-6, Sjerven 0-2, Watson 0-2, Korngable 0-1, Larkins 0-1, Sankey 0-1). Rebounds: SC 49 (Beal 8, Cardoso 8), SD 25 (Korngable 5). Personal Fouls: SC 20, SD 13. Fouled Out: None. Assists: SC 18 (Henderson 5), SD 3. Turnovers: SC 20, SD 9. Blocked Shots: SC 10 (Boston 4). Steals: SD 5 (Krull 3), SC 4. Attendance: 2,845.

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