TCU 79, South Dakota 71
VERMILLION, S.D. (goyotes.com) — TCU center Jordan Moore scored 26 points in the Horned Frog's 79-71 Women's National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal victory over South Dakota on Sunday evening in front of 3,885 fans inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
South Dakota (29-7) won 23 of its last 25 games on the season, became the first Summit League regular season champion to go undefeated since 1994 and set a Division I era record for consecutive games won with 20.
TCU (23-12) becomes just the third road team in 33 games to win inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in the facility's first two seasons. The Coyotes boast a 73-6 home record in the last five seasons.
The South Dakota guard trio of junior Jaycee Bradley, junior Allison Arens and sophomore Ciara Duffy paced the Coyotes in the quarterfinals.
Bradley scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out five assists. Duffy added 12 points and six rebounds.
Arens finished with 15 points, four assists, two steals and a pair of rebounds. Arens will enter her senior season with 999 career points.
Moore made 11-of-13 field goals in the game and has made 85.7 percent (30-of-35) in the WNIT so far. TCU guard Kianna Ray was the only other Horned Frog in double figures with 10, although two players finished with nine and one had eight.
The first quarter was evenly matched with three tie-ups and a pair of lead changes.
The Coyotes used a 22-13 run in the first eight minutes of the second quarter to lead by their largest margin of the game at 38-32. Arens and Bradley each had seven during the run.
TCU's Amber Ramirez hit a half-court buzzer beater at the half to end an 11-4 run by the Coyotes. South Dakota still held on to a 42-39 lead at the break and this marks just the second game of the 2017-18 season where the Coyotes lost after leading at the half.
The buzzer-beater kicked off an 11-0 run by the Frogs to put the visitors up by five. A pair of Coyote three-pointers and a drive to the basketball by Bradley swapped the lead to USD at 50-47. TCU finished off the third quarter on a 12-5 run and the Horned Frogs led 59-55 after three quarters.
TCU's zone forced the Coyotes to take it outside, where they finished 5-of-18 in the second half. The 6-foot-3 Moore scored 16 of her 26 points in the second half around the rim. TCU outscored South Dakota by four in the final quarter for the final score of 79-71. TCU will travel to Indiana for the WNIT semifinal matchup on Wednesday.
The Horned Frogs outrebounded the Coyotes 38-30 and scored 19 points off 13 offensive rebounds. TCU also outscored the Coyotes 46-26 in the paint.
South Dakota shot 41.0 percent (25-61) from the floor and made 11 threes. TCU made 51.7 percent (30-58) from the field with four triples.
Sunday marked the final career game for seniors Kate Liveringhouse, Jasmine Trimboli and Caitlin Duffy. Liveringhouse holds the USD school record for career games played with 139.
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.