Hannah Sjerven

South Dakota's Hannah Sjerven cuts between two North Dakota State defenders for a shot in the lane during their Summit League women's basketball game Sunday at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

VERMILLION – Dawn Plitzuweit and USD celebrated their five senior women’s basketball players by picking up an 81-61 Senior Day victory over North Dakota State Sunday afternoon in Vermillion.

The Coyotes’ five seniors of Claudia Kunzer, Liv Korngable, Monica Arens, Chloe Lamb and Hannah Sjerven were honored prior to tip-off.

“This is a group of young ladies who have done a great deal of success on the court for us and they do so many things off the court for us,” Plitzuweit said.

Kunzer made her first career start Sunday, taking Jeniah Ugofsky’s spot in the starting line-up. Arens suffered a knee injury prior to the season and was not able to play.

“It was awesome,” Kunzer said. “I think it was kind of just like a staple to my whole career because, I don’t know, there’s just something about starting and just being out there with the three other girls, and I wish it was Monica too.”

The Coyotes took control in the first quarter thanks to a late 7-0 run, and didn’t look back, slowly building on their lead. Sjerven lead the charge early and often Sunday, finishing with 24 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Korngable contributed 19 points, eight assists and five steals.

The Bison tried to make things interesting early in the fourth quarter, cutting a 24-point lead down to 15 with five minutes to play. The Coyotes responded by extending the lead back out to 20, where the lead would end up.

The Coyote seniors checked out one at a time with 1:40 to play. Each player embraced Plitzuweit and the coaching staff as they left the floor.

“It’s just like, we started this together and kind of felt like, we are nowhere near done, don’t get me wrong, but it was really nice to be out there with them,” Kunzer said.

USD received a boost from Macy Guebert off the bench, who tallied 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting. Krull added 11 points.

“I will give that girl the highest praise, she worked her butt off,” Kunzer said. “I kind of feel like I took her under my wing a little and just seeing she’s capable of doing it all. That girl can shoot like I have never seen before. I love that she is starting to pave her way here.”

Heaven Hamling led NDSU for the second straight day in scoring, tallying 19 points. Ryan Cobbins added 15 poitns and Emily Dietz 10.

The Coyotes and Bison now turn their eyes to the Summit League Tournament. The Coyotes hold the No. 2 seed and will play Oral Roberts Saturday afternoon. The Bison claimed the No. 3 seed and face Denver Sunday in the opening round.

Follow @BaileyZubke on Twitter.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE (14-8)

Reneya Hopkins 0-1 1-2 1, Kadie Deaton 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan Cobbins 4-10 6-7 15, Heaven Hamling 5-12 4-5 19, Emily Behnke 0-1 0-0 0, Michelle Gaislerova 1-6 0-0 2, Abby Schulte 0-6 2-2 2, Emily Dietz 5-6 0-0 10, Kylie Strop 1-4 2-2 5, Olivia Skibiel 2-3 0-0 5. TOTALS: 19-50 15-19 61.

SOUTH DAKOTA (16-5)

Liv Korngable 7-17 3-3 19, Macy Guebert 4-4 0-1 11, Morgan Hansen 0-2 0-0 0, Chloe Lamb 4-10 0-0 9, Jeniah Ugofsky 3-6 0-0 7, Hannah Sjerven 6-14 12-14 24, Maddie Krull 4-9 0-1 11, Claudia Kunzer 0-2 0-0 0, Aspen Williston 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 28-65 15-19 81.

NDSU 11 7 26 17 — 61

USD 17 19 27 18 — 81

Three-Pointers: USD 10-25 (Guebert 3-3, Krull 3-4, Korngable 2-8, Ugofsky 1-2, Lamb 1-5, Kunzer 0-1, Sjerven 0-1, Hansen 0-1), NDSU 8-19 (Hamling 5-8, Skibiel 1-1, Strop 1-2, Cobbins 1-3, Schulte 0-2, Gaislerova 0-3). Rebounds: NDSU 37 (Cobbins 7), USD 34 (Sjerven 12). Personal Fouls: USD 19, NDSU 18. Fouled Out: USD 1, NDSU 0. Assists: USD 19 (Korngable 8), NDSU 9 (Schulte 4). Turnovers: NDSU 21, USD 9. Steals: USD 13 (Korngable 5), NDSU 3 (Hamling 2). Blocked Shots: USD 5 (Sjerven 5), NDSU 4 (Schulte 2).Attendance: 852.

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