(Courtesty USD Athletics)
VERMILLION, S.D.—No. 22 Missouri State ended South Dakota’s perfect start to the season with a 74-66 victory on Monday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
The loss ended South Dakota’s (5-1) 15-game home-winning streak and marked just the fourth loss inside the SCSC since the facility opened. Missouri State (6-1) has won 14 of their last 15 road contests, only falling to No. 7 Oregon State in the Preseason WNIT Championship game.
“Tonight’s game was a battle that unfortunately did not go our way,” said USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “Our young ladies played extremely hard and we will not only learn, but improve from this game moving forward.
“We now have a great opportunity to spend the Thanksgiving holiday together in Las Vegas and have to prepare for two very good opponents in Ohio State and Northern Illinois.”
South Dakota shot below 40 percent from the field (24-of-68 for 35.3 percent) for the first time this season. The Coyotes were unable to score around the rim, shooting just 32.6 percent (15-of-46) inside the 3-point arc, while making 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from 3-point range.
Junior guard Monica Arens surpassed her career high for the third-straight game, totaling 19 points with three assists and three rebounds. She drained a career high five 3-pointers and finished 6-of-12 from the field. Senior guard Ciara Duffy joined her in double-figures with 12 points.
No. 22 Missouri State was led by guard Alexa Willard’s 21 points with 5 3-pointers. Forward Jasmine Franklin added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lady Bears got to the free-throw line 30 times in the contest with 28 of those trips coming in the second half. Franklin drew three of the Coyotes’ first five fouls in the third quarter to enter bonus territory with more than four minutes remaining. Missouri State also sank 7-of-9 in the final 1:30 of the game as the Coyotes tried to win back possessions.
South Dakota takes on the Big Ten’s Ohio State at 5:30 p.m. (CST) Friday in the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas, Nevada.