Wednesday, the University of South Dakota women’s basketball team will be looking to protect its house against rival South Dakota State University.
Head Coach Amy Williams said playing against your key rival always gets the juices flowing.
“Athletics are fun, and special games like this rivalry, are exciting,” Williams said. “And it’s even more fun when you play at home. We have to protect our house.”
The two teams previously matched up in Brookings Jan. 6 with the Coyotes 72-60. Now, the team is looking to come back strong in front of their home crowd.
“This game is always a lot of fun with all the yelling. But, it’s more fun when we play at home, because we know that everyone is behind us and cheering for us,” said sophomore forward Lisa Loeffler.
Senior guard Alexis Yackley believes the team energy is high in anticipation for the game and everyone is excited to be playing this game in the Dome.
“Friends and family are always looking to get as many tickets as they can for our home games and even more for this one,” senior Alexis Yackley said. “It’s exciting for women’s basketball and for South Dakota to have the in-state rivalry back.”
The Coyotes have been improving their record as of late, winning three of their last four games, including a road win over Western Illinois. They are currently tied for second place in the Summit League with IUPUI, while SDSU is in first place.
“It’s all about effort and hustle,” said Yackley. “Players are starting to know their roles, and it’s been helping us get some wins.”
Coach Williams’ motto is “success breeds success.” Williams is hoping that the team is able to keep adding on the wins and to continue to fight hard in the conference.
Following the game against the Jackrabbits, the Coyotes will take on North Dakota State University on Feb. 2 in Vermillion.
The game will be at the DakotaDome and tip-off will be at 7 p.m.