SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Oral Roberts guard Hannah Cooper dropped 24 points in leading the Golden Eagles to a 92-69 victory over the Coyotes in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament on Sunday afternoon inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.
“It was a tough day for us,” said USD head coach Kayla Karius. “The main goal for us offensively was to control tempo, and we were able to do that twice against them earlier in the season, but they had other plans today.
“Halftime was a moment for us to collect ourselves, take a breath all together and came out in the third quarter with much more poise. We handled the pressure better, looked up the floor and got a lot of easy baskets. But then we started trading baskets with them and we weren’t able to get the defensive stops that we needed.”
Oral Roberts (12-18) advances to the semifinals for the sixth time in the last eight seasons. Cooper, a first-team all-Summit guard, added seven assists, six rebounds and five steals to her tally. Ruthie Udoumoh added 19 points and first-team all-Summit forward Tirzah Moore had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go with eight rebounds, four steals and four blocks.
South Dakota (14-16) was led by sophomore Grace Larkins and redshirt-freshman Carley Duffney with 19 points apiece. Larkins, an all-Summit first team pick, finished one board shy of her ninth double-double this season. Duffney added six rebounds and four assists. Third-year sophomore Morgan Hansen joined them in double-figure scoring with 10 points.
The Golden Eagles started with full-court pressure from the jump, forcing the Coyotes into 21 turnovers and capitalized with 28 points off turnovers.
Oral Roberts led by 11 points at the half, but eight-straight Coyote points to start the third quarter made it a single-possession game. The teams traded baskets for several minutes before a 3-pointer from Larkins cut ORU’s lead to 48-47.
Udoumoh had eight points during ORU’s 14-4 run in the next five minutes to draw the lead back out to 62-51 for the Golden Eagles. ORU outscored the Coyotes 30-16 in the fourth quarter to finish off the game.
South Dakota knocked down 13 3-pointers in each of the first two meetings this season, but finished 6-of-20 behind the arc on Sunday. The Coyotes shot at a 44.8 percent clip overall (26-of-58). Oral Roberts made 49.3 percent (35-of-71) overall and 40 percent (10-of-25) from 3.