VERMILLION On day three of a three games in three days trip to the Virgin Islands over Thanksgiving weekend, the University of South Dakota womens basketball team was 2-4 and had lost back-to-back games to Power 5 Conference opponents.

The Coyotes defeated Pittsburgh 72-61 in overtime to get their first, and only, Power 5 win in the 2021-22 non-conference schedule on the last day of the trip, but more importantly started a winning streak that has reached eight games after Thursday nights 85-46 win over North Dakota.

We expected to have a successful season, but I think down in the Virgin Islands, we didnt perform how we wanted to, USD guard Liv Korngable said. So it was a game changer for that, for a different kind of momentum.

The Coyotes (10-4, 3-0) have started conference play 3-0, with an average margin of victory of nearly 27 points per game after Thursdays 39-point win over North Dakota inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion.

The Coyotes used a 17-0 run in the first quarter to jump ahead 26-11 and rarely looked back as they cruised to the win, the 12th straight over the Fighting Hawks for the Coyotes.

USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweits Coyotes had their offensive struggles early in the season, but after each game, Plitzuweit continued to say the offense is going to come. The offense showed up in the conference opener last week against Oral Roberts, a 90-59 win, and showed its muscle again Thursday night.

We know they have the ability to shoot the basketball and score the basketball at the rim and with a number of different players in a lot of different ways, Plitzuweit said. We get to see it in practice and weve kind of been waiting for it to come to fruition in games. Our offense has been more efficient as of late.

Hannah Sjerven tallied a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Coyotes. Korngable added 15 points. Kyah Watson tallied nine points, all nine points coming from beyond the arc.

The Coyote defense continued its strong presence, holding UND to 31% (18-57) from the field and 16% (3-18) from beyond the arc.

Our mindset has been a team that really wants to be a great defensive team, and that starts with the players wanting to do that because it asks, it demands an awful lot out of them from a physical standpoint, Plitzuweit said.

Claire Orth tallied 13 points and Kacie Borowicz 11 points for North Dakota. Jolene Daninger added 10 points.

South Dakota now prepares for North Dakota State Saturday at home. The Coyotes and Bison tip-off at 1 p.m.

Follow @BaileyZubke on Twitter.

NORTH DAKOTA

Olivia Lane 4-6 0-0 8, Melissa Leet 0-3 0-0 0, Jolene Daninger 4-6 0-1 10, Maggie Manson 0-6 1-2 1, Claire Orth 5-13 3-6 13, Kacie Borowicz 4-18 2-2 11, Allie McCarthy 1-2 0-0 2, Sammiyah Hoskin 0-3 1-2 1. TOTALS: 14-51 6-11 36.

SOUTH DAKOTA (10-4, 3-0)

Hannah Sjerven 6-14 4-7 18, Liv Korngable 6-11 1-1 15, Chloe Lamb 2-6 2-2 7, Kyah Watson 3-4 0-0 9, Maddie Krull 3-4 0-0 7, Grace Larkins 4-10 0-0 8, Natalie Mazurek 1-2 0-0 2, Jeniah Ugofsky 2-3 1-2 6, Macy Guebert 2-3 0-0 4, Regan Sankey 1-1 0-0 3, Allison Peplowski 2-2 0-0 4, Aspen Williston 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS: 33-62 8-12 85.

NORTH DAKOTA 11 15 7 13 46

SOUTH DAKOTA 26 18 17 24 85

Three-Pointers: USD 11-26 (Watson 3-3, Sjerven 2-5, Korngable 2-5, Sankey 1-1, Ugofsky 1-1, Krull 1-2, Lamb 1-4, Guebert 0-1, Mazurek 0-1, Larkins 0-3), UND 3-18 (Daninger 2-2, Borowicz 1-8, Orth 0-1, Hoskin 0-2, Leet 0-2, Manson 0-3). Rebounds: USD 43 (Sjerven 10), UND 29 (Daninger 7). Assists: USD 20 (Watson 4), UND 8 (Borowicz 4). Steals: USD 8 (Sjerven 2, Watson 2, Krull 2), UND 7 (Daninger 3). Blocked Shots: USD 5 (Sjerven 3), UND 0. Personal Fouls: UND 15, USD 12. Turnovers: UND 17, USD 11.

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