VERMILLION — The South Dakota Coyote women’s basketball pieced together a 62-39 win over Bradley Monday night in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center with a strong defensive performance.

The Coyote defense held Bradley to a season low 39 points on 31.1% shooting from the field (14-45). Bradley entered Monday’s game averaging 69.3 points per game and 12 turnovers per game.

“There were some things that we did that might have been different that Bradley hadn’t seen a whole lot of,” USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “We might have had some success with some of our coverages just because they haven’t seen us do it a lot. I’m hoping that we can continue to get better and be tough and make shots challenged.”

The Coyote defense forced 17 Bradley turnovers and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds to win the possession battle by 18 over the Braves.

“I think our young ladies did a great job of getting to the offensive glass,” Plitzuweit said. “We had eight offensive rebounds in the first half, we ended with 13, but those extra possession really helped us.”

The Coyotes led the duration of the game, growing the lead to 26 in the fourth quarter and winning by 23. USD has won three consecutive games.

“We knew going in that it was going to be an extremely difficult non-conference schedule, and we did that purposefully to head into our conference play,” USD guard Maddie Krull said.

USD built a 10-point first quarter lead, and outscored Bradley in every quarter, despite shooting 37.1% from the field (23-62). The Coyotes also shot 25 % from beyond the arc (6-24). Bradley shot 40.9% from beyond the arc (9-22), but couldn’t find a rhythm inside, making 5-of-23 attempts. The Coyotes outscored Bradley 32-4 in the paint.

“Our kids can shoot and we’ve got lots of young ladies who can score and who can shoot it,” Plitzuweit said. “They haven’t been falling for us, but they will. And as hard as we’re playing and working the basketball and getting good shots, that’s a good sign for us.”

After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Hannah Sjerven tallied 12 points, including nine in the second quarter, to lead all scorers. Chloe Lamb added 11 points for the Coyotes. Liv Korngable and Grace Larkins tallied nine points each.

“I was trying not to over penetrate, but at the same time being aggressive,” Larkins said. “That’s something I’m really working on because I went from over penetrating to not being aggressive at all. I’m just trying to find a balance and getting better every day.”

Kyah Watson tallied seven points and eight boards for USD.

The Braves leading scorer, Gabi Haack, tallied 10 points. Isis Fitch and Sasha Koenig tallied six points each.

Above .500 for the first time this season at 5-4, the Coyotes turn their attention to their final two non-conference opponents, Valparaiso and Creighton.

“This is an important stretch for us right now because tomorrow is the last day of classes, so we’ve got to focus on being students,” Plitzuweit said. “Then we’ve got a study day, but that’s the day we’re starting to prep for Valpo, who can really shoot it from the arc as well.”

“We have two more chances to get ready so that when we get into conference, hopefully we’re playing our best basketball.”

Follow @BaileyZubke on Twitter.

BRADLEY (3-4)

Tete Danso 0-2 0-0 0, Abbie Draper 1-4 0-0 3, Daija Powell 2-6 0-0 4, Gabi Haack 3-11 1-2 10, Tatum Koening 1-6 0-0 3, Sierra Morrow 1-2 0-1 2, Chloe Rice 1-2 0-0 2, Isis Fitch 2-5 1-2 6, Callie Ziebell 0-2 0-0 0, Sasha Koening 2-2 0-0 6, Diamond Cannon 1-2 0-0 3, Nika Dorsey 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 14-45 2-5 39.

SOUTH DAKOTA (5-4)

Hannah Sjerven 3-5 6-9 12, Liv Korngable 3-9 2-2 9, Chloe Lamb 5-12 0-0 11, Kyah Watson 3-9 0-0 7, Maddie Krull 2-9 1-1 6, Grace Larkins 4-8 0-0 9, Natalie Mazurek 0-1 0-0 0, Jeniah Ugofsky 2-4 1-1 5, Macy Guebert 1-3 0-0 3, Allison Peplowski 0-1 0-0 0, Aspen Williston 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23-62 10-13 62.

BRADLEY 8 9 12 10 –39

USD 18 13 20 11 –62

Three-Pointers: BU 9-22 (Haack 3-9, S. Koenig 2-2, Draper 1-2, Fitch 1-2, Cannon 1-2, T. Koenig 1-5), USD 6-24 (Guebert 1-2, Larkins 1-3, Korngable 1-4, Lamb 1-4, Watson 1-4, Krull 1-5, Mazurek 0-1, Williston 0-1). Rebounds: USD 39 (Watson 8), BU 32 (T. Koenig 7). Assists: USD 12 (Krull 3, Mazurek 3), BU 10 (T. Koenig 3). Steals: USD 7 (Sjerven 2, Krull 2), BU 2 (Haack, S. Koenig). Blocked Shots: USD 4 (Sjerven, Lamb, Krull, Ugofsky), BU 3 (Danso 2). Personal Fouls: Bu 14, USD 10. Turnovers: BU 17, USD 7. Attendance: 1,497.

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