VERMILLION — In a season that has been anything but, Saturday provided a dose of familiarity to fans of the South Dakota women’s basketball team.

Stifling defense, solid offense and rebounding, and a margin that relegated the Coyote starters to the bench for the fourth quarter on the way to an 87-47 USD victory.

The victory for USD (5-3, 1-0 Summit) was the 19th straight in Summit League play. The Coyotes ran through the 2019-20 Summit League season 16-0, winning league games by an average of 32 points. USD has now won 15 straight at home and 26 straight Summit League contests at home.

Hannah Sjerven finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead USD. Chloe Lamb scored 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. Liv Korngable scored 16 points, all in the first half. Macy Guebert scored 11 points, hitting 3-of-4 three point attempts, in the victory.

For Denver, Uju Ezeudu was the lone player in double figures, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds. Meghan Boyd, the Pioneers’ leading scorer and rebounder, was held to three points and one rebound.

USD played a non-league tune-up on Wednesday against NAIA Midland. Though the contest will mean three games in five days for the Coyotes, the matchup with the Warriors was good preparation for the weekend games.

“We were trying to get players more opportunities to play, get them more comfortable at home,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “At the same time, Midland plays a lot like Denver. That helped us with some awareness.”

Before Denver sent its first shot toward the basket, USD had already built a 5-0 advantage. The lead was 14-2 before the Pioneers’ second field goal and 25-8 after one quarter.

“I thought our defensive intensity and awareness were phenomenal, especially early,” Plitzuweit said. “We continued to play really hard.”

USD stretched the lead to 40-12 before taking a 45-16 edge into the break. The Coyotes continued the onslaught, stretching the lead to 40, 70-30, before handing the game to their reserves in the fourth quarter.

“This has definitely been an unconventional season. But, as a team, we’ve been doing a good job of weathering the storm,” Guebert said. “It’s a different feel during games, but I’m proud of my teammates and how we’ve handled it.”

The teams meet again today (Sunday), again with a 1 p.m. start time. Due to COVID-19, Summit League schedules this season feature back-to-back games against the same opponent at the same site.

“Now will be a challenge, turning around and playing again the next day,” Plitzuweit said. “We can take care of the ball better, but we don’t have a lot of changes to make. We do what we do.”

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DENVER (2-7)

Uju Ezeudu 4-10 6-8 15, Jasmine Jeffcoat 1-1 1-2 3, Meghan Boyd 1-11 0-0 3, Anna Jackson 3-7 0-0 7, Tsimba Malonga 1-7 1-2 3, Emily Counsel 1-2 0-0 3, Claire Gritt 1-5 1-2 4, Sam Deem 2-4 0-0 4, Alexius Foster 0-2 2-2 2, Cheyenne Forney 0-1 0-0 0, Rowan Hein 1-5 0-1 3, Mya Johanson 0-0 0-0 0, Charlotte Levison 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15-55 11-17 47.

SOUTH DAKOTA (5-3)

Jeniah Ugofsky 2-4 0-0 5, Hannah Sjerven 8-10 7-11 23, Liv Korngable 5-8 4-4 16, Chloe Lamb 8-11 0-0 18, Maddie Krull 1-5 0-0 2, Claudia Kunzer 1-3 2-2 4, Morgan Hansen 2-5 2-2 8, Allison Peplowski 0-2 0-0 0, Alexi Hempe 0-1 0-0 0, Macy Guebert 4-5 0-0 11, Natalie Mazurek 0-3 0-0 0, Regan Sankey 0-3 0-0 0, Aspen Williston 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 31-60 15-19 87.

DENVER 8 8 14 17 — 47

SOUTH DAKOTA 25 20 25 17 — 87

Three-Pointers: SD 10-24 (Guebert 3-4, Korngable 2-5, Lamb 2-4, Hansen 2-3, Ugofsky 1-1, Sjerven 0-1, Kunzer 0-1, Hempe 0-1, Mazurek 0-1, Sankey 0-1), DU 6-24 (Ezeudu 1-5, Boyd 1-5, Jackson 1-4, Counsel 1-2, Gritt 1-2, Hein 1-1, Malonga 0-1, Deem 0-1, Forney 0-1). Rebounds: SD 44 (Sjerven 10), DU 26 (Ezeudu 8). Personal Fouls: DU 19, SD 19. Fouled Out: None. Assists: SD 12 (Korngable 4), DU 9 (Boyd 3). Turnovers: DU 22, SD 16. Steals: DU 10 (Ezeudu 3, Boyd 3), SD 5 (Lamb 2). Blocked Shots: SD 4 (Krull 2), DU 2.

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