With a slow start and a few critical back and forth turnovers, the Coyotes held on against the North Dakota State University Bison on Saturday afternoon in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, winning 80-54 to remain undefeated in the Summit League (10-0).
Saturday’s game had a few promotional events. The SCSC celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Pink Day and Alumni Day. USD hosted a women’s sports clinic at the DakotaDome with Coyote athletes.
The Coyote women wore pink jerseys for breast cancer awareness, and three players’ jerseys were auctioned at the game to raise more than $2,000 for Dakota Hospital Foundation.
Alumni Day recognized several alumni of the women’s basketball team, including members from the ’07-’08 team in recognition of the tenth anniversary of their run to the NCAA Division II Championship.
Freshman Chloe Lamb had a career-high run, tying with Duffy to score 20 points and three assists. Duffy led the team with five assists. McKeever added 15 points to the score and four assists.
Lamb said she wanted to provide the team with a spark of energy during her 31-minute run.
“I wanted to make the most of it, just help my team in any way I could,” Lamb said at a press conference.
The first quarter ended 12-9, Coyotes. The end of the first half saw the Coyotes in the lead 32-29.
The second half saw the Coyotes picking up speed, including several back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore Madison McKeever, junior Jaycee Bradley and sophomore Ciara Duffy. The third quarter went to the Coyotes 59-46. The fourth quarter saw South Dakota taking the lead in shots, which the Bison couldn’t keep up with. The final score was 80-54.
Junior Allison Arens was absent from the game due to an injury, a crucial point the Coyotes missed when dealing with offense, Duffy said.
“Our offense didn’t have a lot of energy,” Duffy said. “(Arens is) a great player and obviously taking her out of the equation throws off our flow a little bit.”
McKeever said the team’s offense had to step it up in the second half.
“We were taking great shots, just didn’t follow right away,” she said. “We knew they were going to come out with a lot of fire, and we had to match that.”
Head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said the team wasn’t able to overstep NDSU’s offense, though they pulled through in the second half.
“I thought they played so hard that it took us some time to figure out how to move, how to space, how to attack,” Plitzuweit said. “We got into a stretch where I thought we were doing a really nice job defensively and that allowed us to get out, transition.”
The undefeated Coyote women travel to Fort Wayne on Wednesday to take on the Mastodons at 5 p.m.