The University of South Dakota women’s basketball team is ranked nationally for the first time in school history, entering the Associated Press Top 25. The Coyotes are ranked at No. 25 after receiving votes for 10 consecutive weeks this season.
“It is certainly an exciting day for our young ladies to receive this recognition nationally by the AP Top 25 poll for the hard work that they have put in so far this season,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit in a university-issued release. “This type of honor speaks volumes of the players and coaches who have built this program before us and it can only occur when you have a special combination of support from your University and from your community like we have here."
USD stands at 22-3 on the season in the midst of the program’s best NCAA Division I season to date. The Coyotes have two AP Top 25 wins on their resume, knocking off No. 23 Iowa State, 64-59, inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center back in November. USD also topped No. 22 Missouri, 74-61, on the road in Columbia on Dec. 15.
The Coyotes become the first Summit League program to be ranked since the 2008-09 season. South Dakota State was ranked for eight-straight weeks in 2009 and finished the season at No. 19. The Coyotes are just the third Summit League program to be ranked in history, joining South Dakota State (2008-09) and Northern Illinois (1993-94).
Last week, the Coyotes completed the regular season sweep of Omaha and Oral Roberts. South Dakota held Omaha scoreless, 29-0, in the first quarter en route to a 78-33 victory. Following that up, the Coyotes came down from a double-figure deficit to defeat Oral Roberts 75-64 behind a big fourth quarter.
South Dakota plays at Western Illinois on Saturday before returning home to their Sanford Coyote Sports Center for three of their final four regular season games.