Junior Ciara Duffy surpassed the 1,000 career-point mark and played all but one minute, lifting the Coyotes past rival South Dakota State at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Sunday afternoon.
Duffy’s 28 points and nine rebounds paced an offense that shot 50 percent from the field and 31-of-41 from the free throw line. Jackrabbits senior Macy Miller scored a game and career high 31 points in the loss.
“With games like this, double-overtime, it’s a long game, there’s highs and there’s lows, the lead changed I don’t know how many times,” Duffy said. “That’s where we really have to look to trust each other and our coaches and with this group that’s not very difficult to do. It was awesome to get to go through this with this team.”
Duffy was the lone scorer in double figures for the first half with 11 points. Redshirt Sophomore Hannah Sjerven was dominant under the basket in the first 20 minutes with eight points off 3-of-4 shooting and 2-for-2 at the charity stripe.
The Jacks offensive attack was balanced as they had five players with six points and their leading scorer, Senior Sydney Palmer, tallied seven first-half points.
South Dakota State opened up the third quarter on a 9-0 run, building a seven-point lead and ending the third quarter with a 56-51 lead.
Duffy and Sophomore Chloe Lamb finished the fourth quarter strong. Duffy led all scorers with 10 points and Lamb nine. Both teams started to see foul trouble as the fourth quarter closed. The Coyotes shot 11 free throws in the 4th quarter alone, making eight of them.
Miller drained a three-pointer to tie the game at 80 with eight seconds left in the game. The Coyotes, following a timeout, waited to take the last shot. As time expired, Sjerven received a pass from Duffy, and looked to be fouled on the layup attempt, but a no-call sent the game into overtime.
“Of course we’re the team that thought they fouled, so we thought that we got fouled. I don’t know if we did or didn’t but I thought Ciara had a really good read, I thought State did a good job taking away the rim and making it really tough and and really surrounded her.” Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “She kicked it to Hannah and I thought Hannah had a shot at it. We won’t know until we go back and look at it, but it was well executed.”
The Jacks jumped out to a seven-point overtime lead, but the Coyotes didn’t fold, storming back and tying the game at 91 to head to overtime number two.
Sjerven, running on the small amount of energy that remained, scored six points and grabbed three rebounds in the period, leading all players. Both Monica and Allison Arens fouled out in the second overtime. The Jackrabbits had five players foul out, three of them starters.
This is the first time in USD history that three players scored 20 or more points. Senior Allison Arens finished with 20 and Sjerven 23 to go with Duffy’s 28. The Jackrabbits balanced attack had Junior Tagyn Larson scoring a career high 19 points. Sophomore Myah Selland contributed 19 points and Madison Guebert 15.
The Coyotes will make a trip to Brookings in late February to once again face their in-state foe. But for now, Duffy said the team is focused on tomorrow.
“I think when you grow up in South Dakota or around the area you know the USD, SDSU rivalry,” Duffy said. “It is a special win, and we take it with the other wins, but tomorrow we get back to work and we’ve still got a lot of season left.”