USD Cruises to WNIT Second Round Win

South Dakota's Ciara Duffy (photo by Inertia Sports Media)
South Dakota's Ciara Duffy (photo by Inertia Sports Media)

WNIT Bracket 


VERMILLION, S.D. (goyotes.com) — Four Coyotes scored in double figures led by sophomore guard Ciara Duffy's 19 points as South Dakota topped Colorado State 74-49 on Sunday afternoon in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. USD will host the third round of the WNIT at 7 p.m. Thursday.

South Dakota (28-6) advances past the second round of the WNIT for just the second time in five tries. The last time the Coyotes reached the round of 16, they went on to win the tournament.

Colorado State (21-12), in its fifth-straight postseason appearance under head coach Ryun Williams, falls in the second round for the second-straight year.

The Coyotes' ball movement allowed USD to jump out to an 18-point lead at 30-12 early in the second quarter. USD had 10 assists on its first 11 field goals. The Coyotes finished with 18 assists in the game.

South Dakota held a 40-22 lead at the half with Duffy's 11 points leading a well-balanced Coyote attack that included eight made 3-pointers.

After an early third-quarter timeout by Williams, the Rams came out in a press to fluster the Coyotes. Colorado State went on an 18-5 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter which closed USD's lead to five points at 45-40. CSU guard Sofie Tryggedsson drained her only 3s of the game back-to-back during the run.

Duffy knocked down a big 3-pointer with 4:42 left in the third that changed the momentum. South Dakota used its own 18-0 run to draw the lead out to 63-40.

The Coyotes outscored the Rams by 10 points in the final quarter to win the game 74-49.

Duffy was one of four Coyotes in double figures. She had 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a pair of blocks in the game. Junior guard Jaycee Bradley added 15 points and three assists.

Junior guard Allison Arens and freshman guard Chloe Lamb added 10 points each. Arens also pulled in seven rebounds and dished out four assists. Arens has grabbed seven or more rebounds in six of the last seven games.

Colorado State was led in scoring by all-Mountain West guard Hannah Tvrdy's 21 points. She was the only Ram in double figures, although Tryggedsson and forward Annie Brady each added eight a piece.

Both teams took care of the basketball as neither team committed more than 10 turnovers. USD's five turnovers ties its season low.

Sunday also marked the first time since November that USD did not capitalize on at least 10 points off turnovers. The Coyotes average 18.6 points off turnovers per game.

South Dakota shot 42.9 percent (27-of-63) from the floor with 13 triples. Colorado State shot 38.3 percent (18-of-47) from the field. The Coyotes outrebounded the Rams 39-26 with 10 offensive boards.

The Coyotes host the third round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament at 7 p.m. Thursday. South Dakota will face the winner of Michigan State/Toledo, which will be played tomorrow night. Tickets are available now at GoYotes.com.


ABOUT SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League features women's basketball teams from eight member institutions: Denver, Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois with North Dakota becoming an official member for the 2018-19 season. In 2016-17, The Summit League raised its RPI for the third consecutive year, finishing with an all-time best No. 11 ranking. The Summit League has sent at least three teams to the postseason nine straight years with three postseason tournament semifinal appearances the last four years, while recording the nation's best Division I winning percentage improvement since 2009-10. Called "March's Best-Kept Secret" by USA Today, The Summit League Basketball Championships annually ranks as one of the most attended Division I conference tournaments. This season's event returns to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 3-6, 2018. For more information about the league, "See The Summit" by visiting www.thesummitleague.org and following Summit League Basketball on Twitter @summithoops.

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