(From the USD sports desk)
MACOMB, Ill.-Five Coyotes scored in double-digits led by sophomore guard Ciara Duffy’s 21 points as South Dakota defeated Western Illinois 82-58 on Thursday night inside Western Hall.
The Coyotes (11-5, 3-0 Summit) start Summit League action at 3-0 for the first time in program history. The victory also ends the nine-game league winning streak held by the defending Summit League champion Western Illinois (11-5, 1-1).
Duffy led South Dakota in scoring with 21 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. She tallied her sixth-straight game in double figures on 9-of-14 shooting. Senior guard Jasmine Trimboli added 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting with nine rebounds and a career high five steals. Junior guard Jaycee Bradley had her third-straight double figure game with 16 points, five rebounds, along with a pair of assists and steals. Sophomore guard Madison McKeever’s stat line included 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Junior guard Allison Arens added 11 points, six assists and five rebounds. The Coyotes had five players in double figures for the first time since the Roo Holiday Classic versus Northern Illinois last season.
Western Illinois was led by guard Morgan Blumer’s 14 points. Reigning Summit League Player of the Year Emily Clemens had 13 points and six assists. She also committed a game-high four turnovers. Guard Taylor Higginbotham added 12 points. The Coyotes shot 46.4 percent (32-of-69) from the field with a season-best 15 made 3-pointers.
Western Illinois shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) from the floor. South Dakota’s big difference makers included second-chance points and points-off turnovers. The Coyotes had 13 second-chance points with 14 offensive boards, while the Leathernecks had no second-chance points with only five offensive rebounds. South Dakota also scored 22 points off turnovers. USD forced 17 Western Illinois turnovers. The Coyotes had 10 steals with Trimboli grabbing half of those.
South Dakota returns home to host Mount Marty at 7 p.m. next Wednesday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. League action continues with Fort Wayne in Vermillion on Saturday at 1 p.m.