Sioux Falls, S.D. — The first round of the Summit League Tournament saw a win for the Coyote women as they triumphed over the eighth-seeded Fort Wayne Mastodons 83-32 in the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
Junior Jaycee Bradley had a career high in the game with 27 points, including five three-pointers in the first quarter. Bradley’s seven three-pointers is tied in the Summit League (in 1998 and 2010).
Bradley said at a press conference the team “fed off of each other” to allow shots to go in.
“When you see the first shot go in it feels pretty good, but we kept moving the ball around and other people were hitting shots in the first quarter, too,” she said.
USD’s 19-straight wins is the sixth-highest in the nation, according to the Summit League. The Coyotes’ 51-point margin victory is also tied in the Summit League (in 1993).
Bradley led the team with 27 points, followed by freshman Chloe Lamb with 14 and sophomore Taylor Frederick with 11. Lamb added six assists. The women shot at 44.4 percent from the paint and 48.3 percent in three-pointers as all active players took the court.
The first quarter saw the Coyotes securing a 22-point lead. Bradley had 15 points (all three-pointers) in the first. A buzzer-beater reverse layup by Lamb ended the first quarter.
The second and third quarters increased the lead for the Coyotes which the Mastodons couldn’t catch up to. The final quarter gave the Coyotes their overall 51-point lead to end the game 83-32.
Bradley said defense was the calling card for the team throughout the game.
“Our defense this year has been significantly better than it was last year, and that’s carried us through multiple games,” she said. “So it’s a really good feeling knowing that you can rely on your defense when your offense isn’t scoring as efficiently as some games.”
Lamb said the team is taking each game “one day at a time.”
“With the little amount of time now that we’re having to prepare, there isn’t enough time to look in too far,” she said.
Head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said the team played at a “very high level” despite the 10-day break.
“It was an intense game certainly from the way that our players played and approached it,” she said. “We got better, certainly, defensively from the last time we played Fort Wayne.”
Plitzuweit said it’s difficult to determine what to focus on going into the next game, not knowing who the opponent is yet.
“At this point in time, it’s just important to kind of get our kids off their feet, get them recovered and then take a look at, again, our coaches’ job is to prepare for both teams at the same time and then figure out, after tomorrow’s game, who we play and make the adjustments that we can.”
The women move to the semifinals in the tournament, and will take on either Denver or Oral Roberts Monday at noon.