Summit League Tournament Preview: #2 South Dakota vs. #7 North Dakota State
The Coyotes (26-2/14-2 Summit League) are the two seed after finishing a game back of South Dakota State in the final regular season standings.
South Dakota begins the postseason with a match-up against a team they beat in the final week of the regular season, North Dakota State.
The Bison (7-21/4-12 Summit League) began conference play with three wins in their first six games but have lost nine of ten since. Two of those losses came to USD - by 26 in Fargo in December and by 19 in Vermillion last week (February 28).
In the first meeting, the Bison scored the first seven points of the game but scored just five points in the second quarter.
In the rematch, the Coyotes shot 53 percent from the floor, scored 50 points in the paint, and forced 20 turnovers.
North Dakota State was last in the league in scoring and rebounding this season. Sophomore guard Michelle Gaislerova is the only double-figure scorer for the Bison, averaging 14 points per game.
The quarterfinal match-up between USD and NDSU starts Saturday (March 9) at 2:30 PM at the PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.
The winner advances to the semifinals, Monday (March 11).
South Dakota swept the North Dakota schools to close out the regular season, beginning with a 76-57 win over NDSU.
The Coyotes used a 25-9 third quarter to blow open what had been a tight game in the first half.
Both teams shot better than 54 percent in the first 20 minutes. The USD defense held the Bison to just 35 percent in the second half.
Hannah Sjerven scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the second half for the Coyotes.
South Dakota closed out the regular season with an 87-54 win over North Dakota.
The Coyotes shot 63 percent in the first quarter and then held the Fighting Hawks to just five points in the second quarter before pouring in 30 points in the third quarter on 64 percent shooting.
Senior Allison Arens, in her final regular season game, had 18 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor.
I talked with Coyotes head coach Dawn Plitzuweit about last week's wins and the match-up with North Dakota State: