What appeared to be another South Dakota - South Dakota State runaway atop the Summit League women's basketball standings has changed drastically in just one week's time.

The Coyotes and Jackrabbits, two games up on the field heading into last weekend, both dropped games and have now seen their advantage slip to just a game over Western Illinois and IUPUI. 

The South Dakota women's basketball team in on the road for the next three, starting tonight (February 1) in Denver.

The Coyotes (18-4/7-2) beat the Pioneers 70-64 in the first meeting. Allison Arena paced the way with a double-double in the first 18 minutes, finishing the game with 28 points and 11 rebounds. She also made a school record 18 free throws.

Denver (5-16/2-6) has won just once in their last four games. Freshman guard Lauren Loven is scoring 16 points per game in Summit League play. Samantha Romanowski shot the ball well against USD last time, hitting 6-of-15 for 15 points.

Tipoff is 8:00 PM (CT) in Denver.

Saturday (February 4) the Coyotes travel to Brookings for a battle with South Dakota State.

The Jackrabbits (16-5/7-2) are coming off a last second loss at Omaha. SDSU allowed 16 Maverick three-pointers in the game, including Marissa Pretson's triple as time expired.

The Coyotes won the first meeting with the Jacks, 65-62, as SDSU set the pace early with an 11-point halftime lead, but USD controlled the second half, especially on defense, limiting SDSU to just nine third quarter points.

It was a three-point game late, but the Jacks missed two potential game-tying shots in the final seconds.

Arens led all scorers with 24 points. Madison Guebert had 21 for the Jackrabbits.

Tipoff is 2:00 PM in Brookings.

The Coyotes split at home last week.

Thursday (January 26) they beat North Dakota State 80-48.

A 16-3 second quarter run blew open what had been a close game up to that point. In all, USD hit 16 three-pointers in the game; six from Ciara Duffy, five from Jaycee Bradley.

The Coyote defense limited the Bison to 10 points in the second quarter, 12 points in the third, and nine points in the fourth.

Abigail Fogg had a career-high 11 rebounds.

Two days later (January 28), South Dakota had its' 24-game home winning streak snapped when Western Illinois emerged with an 86-78 win.

The Leathernecks guard heavy attack proved to be quite a challenge for the Coyote defense. WIU hit nine three-pointers in the first half which opened up more scoring opportunities inside in the second half.

Guards Morgan Blumer and Emily Clemens combined for 52 points on 16-of-29 shooting (55%).

USD got big contributions from Kate Liveringhouse, Madison McKeever, and Megan Bonar off the bench (25 points/10 rebounds).

I talked with USD Coach Dawn Plitzuweit about last week's split and this week's match-ups with Denver and South Dakota State: