Women’s struggles continue in lopsided loss to Coyotes


Evan Patzwald, Assistant Sports Editor

The big rivalry between the South Dakota State (8-8, 4-1 Summit) and South Dakota (12-4, 5-0 Summit) women’s basketball teams took place Saturday in Vermillion. USD dominated nearly the entire game, taking the win 65-42.

The Jackrabbits entered the game on a five game winning streak and hoped that the streak would continue against the Summit-League leading Coyotes. A win would have moved the Jackrabbits into first place in the conference standings.

Throughout the first quarter, the teams looked evenly matched, as each team traded baskets back-and-forth and the game was tied at 20 after 10 minutes.

Then USD proceeded to dominate the rest of the game. The Coyotes went on a 32-10 run over the next two quarters to take a 52-30 lead heading into the final quarter.

By that point, the visiting Jacks dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of as they finished the game with a season-low 42 points.

“I thought there were many different parts to the game, but foul trouble really hurt us in the first half,” coach Aaron Johnston said. “I think that took us out of rhythm and took us out of sync, and we were always battling from that.”

None of SDSU’s starters scored in double figures for the first time this season, as their leading scorer Tori Nelson scored a mere 9 points.

“In the second half, I thought it was just execution,” Johnston said. “Their defense was better than our offense and we just never really got it going.”

On the flip side, USD had four players scoring at least 10 points, with Liv Korngable leading the team with 15. Hannah Sjerven and Kyah Watson followed behind her with 14 points each. 

“They came out with a lot of energy,” said senior Tylee Irwin. “Every year, we know it’s going to be a really big game and a tough game to come in here and play, but they definitely executed their plan better than we did today.”

Irwin scored 6 points and 3 rebounds on 3-of-7 shooting from the field. Paige Meyer, Myah Selland and Paiton Burkhard chipped in 7 points each. As a team, the Jackrabbits shot only 37.6 % from the field.

Neither team shot particularly well from the field, as USD’s field goal percentage was only 46.4 percent.

The Jacks saw their 5-game win streak snapped in the loss and was their first conference loss this year. They also saw their 19-game Summit League winning streak snapped as well, dating back to last season. Now the Coyotes sit alone at the top of the conference standings at 5-0 and are riding a 10-game win streak.

Looking ahead, SDSU has two road games to look forward to as they play Omaha Thursday at 5 p.m. following that game, they play Denver Saturday at 3 p.m. The Mavericks are 6-8 overall and 2-3 in conference, while the Pioneers are 5-10 overall and winless in the Summit sitting at 0-4.