Two women’s basketball teams are unbeaten in the Summit League basketball game.
Those two teams – the University of South Dakota and the State of South Dakota – meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Sanford Coyote Sports Complex in Vermillion.
The Coyotes and Jackrabbits are both 4-0 in a conference game.
The Coyotes have won nine straight games heading into Saturday’s game. Much of their success comes from their defensive success.
The USD holds the 30th national defense, allowing 54.5 points per game. In the last four games, the Coyotes have held their opponents under 60 points. Last week, North Dakota and the state of North Dakota were capped at less than 40 points.
The Coyotes, according to coach Dawn Plitzuweit, have focused their defense on clear defense.
“For us, these are small ways to keep improving,” said Plitzuweit after last weekend’s win over the Bison. “I think we have to keep finding small ways to be more efficient. “
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Then, during Coyote Sports Properties’ Coyote report on Monday, Plitzuweit said his team had also focused on perimeter defense.
On New Years Day, the USD limited the Bison to just three points at 3 points.
“This group goes crazy when they are tagged,” Plitzuweit said.
The Coyotes are hoping the Jackrabbits’ last visit will mark another strong defensive performance.
When SDSU last played Vermillion, the Coyotes held the Jackrabbits at 48 points on Jan.29, 2020.
In that game, the state of South Dakota was kept 36 percent off the ground and just 3 of 17 off the 3-point range.
USD have won six straight home games against the Jackrabbits.
Offensively, Hannah Sjerven could take a new step. If the senior USD scores 33 points on Saturday, it will hit the 1,500 point mark.
Sjerven will join teammate Chloe Lamb in this endeavor, and USD will become one of six schools across the country to have two players with over 1,500 points.
Plitzuweit also said on Monday that she was delighted to see a larger crowd inside the CSGC. When the two North Dakota programs came to town, the students were home on vacation.
But, as classes resume this week, the sixth-year Coyotes coach is eager to regain some energy in the building.
“It’s fun to play in those kinds of environments. The funny thing is that our fans understand the game and enjoy basketball, ”Plitzuweit said.
Usd men at play
For the first time in two weeks, the Coyotes men’s basketball team is returning to a game.
The last time USD played in a game was Dec. 22 against Kansas City, where the Roos beat the Coyotes 67-58.
The Coyotes will resume their Summit League schedule at 6 p.m. Saturday with a meeting against the Jackrabbits at Brookings.
The Coyotes were going to take a few days off over Christmas weekend and return on the 26th, according to coach Todd Lee in Monday’s Coyote Report.
When the Coyotes returned on Boxing Day, a few players showed symptoms of COVID-19.
Some players have tested positive for the virus and the games against the Fighting Hawks and Bison had to be called off.
According to Lee, players who tested positive were vaccinated and a few guys got sick.
There were a couple of guys who were able to train, and the program was supposed to be on a 10 day break.
“We’ve done everything we’re supposed to do,” Lee said Monday. “It’s unfortunate that this has happened. We were waiting for our guys to return.
When the Coyotes trained on Monday, Lee admitted the players were a little out of breath. Players who had to be quarantined were unable to train on their own as apartment buildings in Vermillion do not have gyms.
The Coyotes have spent the week preparing for SDSU, which is the Summit’s most successful team.
When the Coyotes faced the Jacks in a Summit doubles program last season, the USD held SDSU at 56 points in one of the contests.
Lee said the Coyotes have to play well defensively to start over.
“We have to choose what we’re going to take away from them,” Lee said. “We’re not going to be able to take everything away. Last year it may have been their lowest result, but it won’t happen all the time. “