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USD women snare Summit lead with road triumph at SDSU

BROOKINGS--In front of a big, boisterous and blue-clad crowd Thursday night, the University of South Dakota women's basketball team never cowered. When the Coyotes needed the important shots to fall late, they got them and USD picked up a crucial...

South Dakota State's Macy Miller (12) fights her way to the basket between University of South Dakota's Jaycee Bradley (12) and Ciara Duffy (24) during a game at Frost Arena in Brookings. (Matt Gade / Republic)
South Dakota State's Macy Miller (12) fights her way to the basket between University of South Dakota's Jaycee Bradley (12) and Ciara Duffy (24) during a game at Frost Arena in Brookings. (Matt Gade / Republic)

BROOKINGS-In front of a big, boisterous and blue-clad crowd Thursday night, the University of South Dakota women's basketball team never cowered.

When the Coyotes needed the important shots to fall late, they got them and USD picked up a crucial road win at Frost Arena, knocking off South Dakota State 67-61. With its 10th straight win, USD moves to 7-0 in the Summit League halfway through the conference schedule.

In front of 3,091 fans, the Coyote victory snapped a 16-game conference home win streak for the Jackrabbits (16-5, 5-1 Summit), who never had the fire to overcome a 16-0 USD run in the first half and lacked sharp play throughout the night.

"I think it was the toughness they brought," SDSU's Macy Miller said about USD's effort. "They were just getting those loose balls, making those shots and we just didn't have that edge with us tonight."

Miller-the Mitchell native who surpassed 1,500 career points with her 18-point effort Thursday-trimmed the USD lead to one point with 5 minutes and 12 seconds remaining with a pair of free throws. But the Coyotes' Kate Liveringhouse was the thorn in the SDSU side all night, draining a jumper to extend the lead to three. The Jacks twice more had the deficit down to two points but Jaycee Bradley's jumper with 2 minutes left put USD up 63-59 and the Coyotes closed the game from that point.

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"We feel really fortunate to come out on top," USD coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. "They had a great run and we were kind of fortunate to weather the storm and come out on top. ... To our players' credit, we're a much better defensive team than we were last year and ultimately that kind of kept us in the game when our offense wasn't scoring as efficiently as we wanted it to."

Liveringhouse carried the Coyotes (16-5, 7-0 Summit) early in the game. She was 8-for-9 shooting and scored 18 points in the first half, enough for a season-high on its own. The Coyotes trailed 19-15 just prior to the end of the first quarter before back-to-back Liveringhouse buckets tied the game at the end of the first quarter at 19-all. Liveringhouse then drained a 3-pointer and another bucket to spur USD to a 31-19 lead with 6:09 left until halftime.

SDSU coach Aaron Johnston said his team was lucky to be within five points at halftime, 39-34.

"We just didn't really have a lot going," he said. "We never quite got into a rhythm, offensively or defensively. A lot of it goes to (USD). I'm not going to beat our team up too much. I wish we would have played better but (USD) played pretty well."

Liveringhouse led all scorers with 20 points, while Ciara Duffy had 17 and Allison Arens added 13 for the Coyotes, who shot 45 percent for the game. Madison Guebert scored 17 for the Jacks, who trailed by as many as 13 early in the third quarter.

The Jackrabbits, winners of six straight coming into Thursday, now turn their eyes to Fort Wayne at 2 p.m. Saturday in Brookings. The Coyotes travel to Denver for a 2 p.m. game Saturday.

"What's important is for us to not get emotional about this," Plitzuweit said. "We have a lot to build on and get better at. At the same time, it should give our young ladies some confidence because they did win in a very tough environment."

NOTES: Miller has 1,503 career points all-time, eighth-best in SDSU history. ... SDSU freshman and Letcher native Myah Selland missed her third straight game with an injured right foot. Johnston said Selland "won't be back for a while" and noted the team missed her presence against the Coyotes.

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South Dakota 67, South Dakota State 61

South Dakota (16-5, 7-0 Summit): Kate Liveringhouse 9-13 0-0 20 Jasmine Trimboli 2-6 1-2 5 Allison Arens 4-11 4-5 13 Madison McKeever 3-6 0-0 8 Ciara Duffy 6-15 1-2 17 Monica Arens 0-0 0-0 0 Jaycee Bradley 1-3 0-0 2 Taylor Frederick 0-2 0-0 0 Chloe Lamb 1-2 0-0 2 Totals 26-58 6-9 67

South Dakota State (16-5, 5-1 Summit): Tagyn Larson 2-3 2-2 6 Ellie Thompson 2-6 1-2 5 Alexis Alexander 0-3 0-0 0 Madison Guebert 6-13 2-3 17 Macy Miller 7-17 3-4 18 Rylie Cascio Jensen 1-1 0-0 3 Tylee Irwin 3-9 0-1 7 Sydney Palmer 1-2 1-2 3 Sydney Tracy 1-1 0-0 2 Totals 23-55 9-14 61

USD 19 39 54 67

SDSU 19 34 46 61

3-point goals: USD 9-24 (Duffy 4-9, McKeever 2-2, Liveringhouse 2-4, Trimboli 0-2, Bradley 0-2, Lamb 0-1), SDSU 6-18 (Guebert 3-6, Miller 1-4, Cascio Jensen 1-1, Irwin 1-3, Alexander 0-2, Thompson 0-1, Palmer 0-1). Rebounds-offensive: USD 31-6 (Trimboli 8, Arens 8), SDSU 39-11 (Thompson 9, Larson 8). Total fouls: USD 21, SDSU 16. Fouled out: Guebert. Technicals: none. Assists: USD 15 (Arens 5), SDSU 10 (Miller 3), Turnovers: USD 5, SDSU 11. Blocks: USD 2 (Frederick, McKeever), SDSU 2 (Larson 2), Steals: USD 7 (Arens 3), SDSU 1 (Alexander). A-3,091.

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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