South Dakota Wins Thriller Over Michigan State

South Dakota's Chloe Lamb (photo by Aaron Packard)
South Dakota's Chloe Lamb (photo by Aaron Packard)

WNIT Bracket 


WNIT Third Round
South Dakota 85, Michigan State 83 [OT]

VERMILLION, S.D. (goyotes.com) —The Women's National Invitation Tournament magic continues as South Dakota women's basketball topped Michigan State 85-83 in an overtime thriller inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center Thursday night in front of 3,072 fans.

The Coyotes (29-6) will host TCU (22-12) in the WNIT quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Sophomore guard Ciara Duffy led the Coyotes with a career high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting. She added seven rebounds, three assists and no turnovers. Freshman guard Chloe Lamb came off the bench to tally 18 points with four made 3-pointers. Junior guard Allison Arens added 10 points and three steals.

Senior center Kate Liveringhouse set a USD record on Thursday night for career games played with 138. She scored 12 points and grabbed three boards in the contest.

Michigan State (19-14) jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first quarter and led by double figures through most of the second period. The Spartans knocked down an astonishing 76.5 percent (13-of-17) in the first period.

USD junior guard Jaycee Bradley knocked down a triple with 2:55 to play in the second quarter that began an 11-2 run by the Coyotes to finish off the first half. South Dakota outscored Michigan State by 10 in the second quarter to close the Spartans' lead to three, 46-43, at the break.

Neither team led by more than seven the second half. South Dakota's first lead of the game came with 4:46 to play in the third quarter as Duffy drove in for a layup to make the score 53-52. That marked the first of seven lead changes and four tied scores.

A quick run by Michigan State put the Spartans up 65-58 with 8:28 remaining in regulation, but five-straight points from Lamb made it a two-point game again.

Duffy drilled a 3-pointer with 2:16 on the clock that began a 7-2 by the Coyotes to tie the game. Her fade-away jumper with 22 seconds left tied it up at 76-76. Sophomore forward Taylor Frederick blocked the Spartans' final shot attempt to send the game to overtime.

The drama did not end in overtime. Michigan State guard Shay Colley tied the game at 81 with just over a minute to play after sinking a pair of free throws. A steal-and-score by forward Nia Hollie gave the Spartans an 83-81 advantage with 43 seconds remaining.

Once again, Lamb came up big for the Coyotes. She knocked down a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left to give the Coyotes a one-point lead. USD freshman guard Monica Arens grabbed the defensive rebound on MSU's ensuing missed shot. She made one-of-two from the line to give USD its final score of 85-83.

Michigan State was led by Colley's 31 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals. MSU guard Taryn McCutcheon added 16 points with all four of her threes coming in the first half. MSU forward Jenna Allen was the third Spartan in double figures with 11 points.

The Coyotes made 48.3 percent (29-60) from the floor and 50 percent (11-22) outside the arc. The Spartans finished at 50.8 percent (31-61) from the field.

South Dakota returns to the Sanford Coyote Sports Center at 6 p.m. Sunday to host the Big 12's TCU in the WNIT quarterfinals.


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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