Women’s Basketball Loses in Quarterfinals, First Time in Six Years
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Women’s Basketball Loses in Quarterfinals, First Time in Six Years

The women’s basketball team fell 92-69 to Oral Roberts in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament

This was the first time the Coyotes have lost in the quarterfinals since 2017, former head coach Dawn Plitzuweit’s first year with the program. The 2017 loss was also the last time current head coach Kayla Karius was on the sidelines with the Coyotes during the Summit League Tournament. In 2017, USD fell to Omaha 64-58.

Today, in the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, a new coach and her team fell to the same fate that Plitzuweit did in 2017.

The Coyotes entered the game with a quick 3-pointer but were soon met with Oral Roberts’ full-court press. The team had six total turnovers in the first quarter, allowing the Golden Eagles to score nine additional points which put them ahead 22-15 at the end of the quarter. Redshirt freshman forward Carley Duffney led the Coyotes in scoring with seven points.

Oral Roberts was led by senior guard Hannah Cooper with five points at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Oral Roberts was able to extend their lead to 14 points with 2:09 left in the half. This quarter saw an additional four turnovers by the Coyotes.

Cooper continued to lead the Golden Eagles in scoring at the half with 12 points.

The half ended with the Coyotes trailing 39-28.

As the Coyotes returned after the half, the team went on their largest scoring run of the game with eight points. The third quarter ended with a 62-53 Coyote deficit.

“At halftime, we’re sitting on seven points off turnovers, and I think that was a moment for us to collect ourselves and to take a deep breath all together,” Karius said. “We came out in the third quarter much more poised, and I was really proud of the way we handled pressure better.”

In the final quarter of the game, the Coyotes committed an additional nine turnovers and allowed a nine-point scoring run for the Golden Eagles.

The two teams traded baskets a majority of the second half, however the Coyotes were unable to get stops defensively.

“They were able to force a lot of turnovers,” senior guard Macy Guebert said.” I think we were able to figure it out a little bit more towards the end but like (Karius) said, we were trading baskets with them. I think it really came down to defensive stops and you have got to get more of those on the stretch.”

The Golden Eagles ended the game ahead 92-69. They were led by Cooper the entirety of the game. Cooper finished with 24 points. This was her 15th game of the season with more than 20 points. Cooper was followed by junior forward Ruthie Udoumoh in scoring with 19 points. Oral Roberts was also able to capitalize on USD’s 21 turnovers for 28 points.

USD was led by Duffney and sophomore guard Grace Larkins both with 19 points.

Oral Roberts will compete tomorrow in the semifinals of the tournament against SDSU at 12:30 p.m. in the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.