Coyotes cruise past Bison; remain perfect in conference play
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Coyotes cruise past Bison; remain perfect in conference play

The No. 20/15 Coyotes (25-2, 14-0 CONF) extended their winning streak to 14 as they picked up a dominant 96-57 victory over North Dakota State (8-17, 5-8 CONF) inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center on Thursday.

USD held its annual Pink Night and auctioned off four pink jerseys at halftime. All proceeds were donated to the Dakota Hospital Foundation.

“We were kind of talking in the huddle, saying we could tell the atmosphere was different,” junior guard Chloe Lamb said. “That’s always fun, playing with a ton of people in the (Sanford Coyote Sports Center), it’s a lot of fun. It brings us a lot of energy, so we really enjoyed it.”

The Coyotes used that energy to set an early tempo, going on a 12-point run to open the game before the Bison clawed back to within seven points at the end of the first quarter.

“North Dakota State caused us some fits in the first quarter with some of their movement and some of their screens,” head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “They scored it very efficiently against us, but we did a good job in the second quarter of trying to limit their opportunities.”

NDSU wouldn’t venture within seven points of the lead throughout the rest of the game. USD opened the second quarter with an eight-point scoring run and never looked back, forcing 24 Bison turnovers and leading by as much as 42 points en route to their 25th victory.  

Senior guard Ciara Duffy led all scorers with 22 points on 10-15 shooting to go along with her game-high four assists. Lamb followed with 15 points while going 2-2 from deep and junior center Hannah Sjerven secured a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

Seven Coyotes came off the bench and each registered at least 10 minutes of action. Senior forward Taylor Frederick dropped 12 points while senior forward Megan Bonar and junior guard Claudia Kunzer both added seven points.

After the game, Duffy said Kunzer has been one of the best teammates she has ever played with.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; (Kunzer) is one of the best teammates that I’ve ever had,” Duffy said. “Truly, she’s willing to do anything for the success of the team, and I think you see that out there. To have someone who is genuinely so excited for the success of her teammates and the success of the team overall is just amazing.”

Junior guard Michelle Gaislerova led the Bison with 15 points on 6-9 shooting while freshman guard Ryan Cobbins added 10 points.

The Coyotes look to stay solid in Summit League play as they travel to Brookings to take on in-state rival South Dakota State on Saturday, Feb. 22.