VERMILLION, S.D. | Something a little different worked wonders for the streaking South Dakota women’s basketball team here Saturday.
After three straight games of 13 or more made 3-pointers, the Coyotes decided to attack the rim and did so with much success in an 85-43 rout of Fort Wayne at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
USD’s seventh consecutive victory was fueled by 54 points in the paint and 27 points off turnovers. At 4-0, the Coyotes (13-5 overall) are one of only two teams that remain unbeaten in the Summit League.
“I thought we played with a lot of energy and really did a nice job defensively throughout the course of the game,” South Dakota Coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “Fort Wayne made some adjustments and got us into some late shot clock scenarios about halfway through the first quarter. Later on we learned how to sustain the possession and finish it out.
“At the same time our kids did a really nice job of understanding that we wanted to attack the rim. We’re a team that’s known to shoot it from the arc an awful lot and in this game we did a good job of spacing the floor and recognizing when we had some mismatches and opportunities to post up and score.”
Plitzuweit lit into her team in no uncertain terms during a time out late in the first quarter with the score 22-15. The Coyotes went on a 14-2 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter and from there dominated the rest of the game.
Freshman Chloe Lamb scored a career-high 16 points, making 7 of 9 shots while becoming the ninth different player to lead the Coyotes in scoring this season.
South Dakota shot a season-high 63 percent (34 of 54) from the floor. The Mastadons offered little resistance inside as the Coyote enjoyed a 54-18 advantage in the paint.
“We take whatever we get, we’re getting shots up in practice but we know those aren’t always going to fall so we have to adapt and see what they give us and make the most of what they do,” Lamb said.
Allison Arens and Jaycee Bradley added 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Jasmine Trimboli contributed 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals.
“We’ve really been working hard on defense in practice,” Trimboli said. “We’ve been having a lot of energy and we’re starting to get our flow and know what position and roles everyone has. I think everyone has taken on their roles and doing a really good job at what they need to do and we’re becoming really successful by doing that.”
Fort Wayne (4-14, 1-4) attempted just 38 shots and the Coyote defense forced six shot-clock violations.
Three of USD’s next four games are on the road, beginning with a trip to Oral Roberts on Wednesday.