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Coyotes score sweet upset of No. 2 seed Baylor, advance to Sweet 16

USD improves to 29-5, advances to regional semifinals in Wichita, Kansas

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament - Second Round-South Dakota at Baylor
South Dakota center Hannah Sjerven (34) celebrates after scoring a three-point basket against the Baylor Lady Bears during the first half of an NCAA tournament second-round game on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
Chris Jones / USA Today Sports

WACO, Texas -- From wire-to-wire on Sunday night, the South Dakota Coyotes delivered the sweetest victory in school history.

For the second straight game, South Dakota never trailed and the No. 10-seeded Coyotes advanced to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA women’s basketball tournament for the first time, topping second-seeded Baylor 61-47 at the Ferrell Center on the Baylor campus.

Hannah Sjerven led the Coyotes with 16 points, while Chloe Lamb had 15 points and Liv Korngable had 11 points and five assists for USD, which improved to 29-5.

The Coyotes will play on Saturday, March 26 in Wichita, Kansas in the Sweet 16 regional semifinals against either No. 3-seeded Michigan or No. 11 Villanova. The Wolverines and Wildcats will play on Monday in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

South Dakota is only the second team in Summit League women’s basketball history to reach the Sweet 16, joining the 2019 South Dakota State program.

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NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament - Second Round-South Dakota at Baylor
South Dakota guard Chloe Lamb (22) shoots over Baylor guard Sarah Andrews (24) during the first half of an NCAA tournament second-round game on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
Chris Jones/USA TODAY Sports

The loss snapped a 66-game non-conference home win streak for Baylor, including 15 straight NCAA tournament games in Waco. It is the first home loss for Baylor in the NCAA tournament since 2002 and denied Baylor a 13th consecutive trip to the Sweet 16, holding the Bears to a season-low for points in the process.

South Dakota did not trail for the second consecutive game in the NCAA tournament after a 75-61 win over Ole Miss in the first round on Friday. The Coyotes set the tone from opening tip, scoring the first 11 points and leading 16-4 after the opening 10 minutes.

Baylor got to within four points with less than 3 minutes remaining in the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Lewis but the Coyotes closed on a surge of its own, hitting its last five shots and swelling the lead back to 11 points.

In the second half, Baylor pulled within seven points but strong defense carried USD through, even without any points in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter until Maddie Krull scored a key three-point play with 2:53 remaining to put the Coyotes up 52-42 and leave the game on ice from there.

The Bears shot 5 of 26 from 3-point range. NaLyssa Smith, a two-time All-American at Baylor, finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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