Coyotes defeat Golden Eagles to advance to the championship

South Dakota's Hannah Sjerven finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to post her fifth double-double of the season in win over Oral Roberts.
South Dakota's Hannah Sjerven finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to post her fifth double-double of the season in win over Oral Roberts.

Press Conferences: USD Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit | South Dakota Players | ORU Head Coach Misti Cussen | ORU's Keni Jo Lippe

The Basics

Score: No. 1 South Dakota 65, No. 4 Oral Roberts 43
Records: South Dakota (29-2), Oral Roberts (15-16)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Oral Roberts provided top-seeded South Dakota a little scare early on but the 12th-ranked Coyotes turned it on in the second quarter to roll to a 65-43 victory over the Golden Eagles.

The Coyotes' frontcourt duo of Hannah Sjerven and Taylor Frederick combined to go 14-for-19 from the floor to pace the offense while the rest of the team went just 13-for-49. Those efforts allowed South Dakota to outscore ORU 44-14 in the paint.

Sjerven finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to post her fifth double-double of the season while Frederick went 8-for-10 from the floor and added a team-high 16 points off the bench. Summit League Player of the Year Ciara Duffy rounded out a trio of double-figure scorers for USD with 10 points.

It wasn't a smooth start for USD, who fell behind 9-6 following a Keni Jo Lippe putback at the 2:16 mark of the first quarter.

The Coyotes tightened up their defense after that, forcing the Golden Eagles to miss their next 10 field goals, spanning more than eight minutes between the first and second quarters.

After starting the second quarter tied 10-10, Sjerven scored nine straight points to spark a 14-0 run during that drought and the Golden Eagles never recovered.

Sarah Garvie snapped the scoreless stretch for ORU by converting a three-pointer off an offensive rebound, but USD would go onto outscore the Golden Eagles 25-5 during the frame to take a 35-15 lead into halftime.

ORU's 20-point hole was too much to overcome as the Coyotes would extend their lead to its peak at 36 on a three-pointer from Liz Korngable midway through the fourth quarter. USD's defense ended up limiting the Golden Eagles to 12 made field goals on 56 attempts (21 percent).

Lippe led ORU with a game-high 18 points and added 13 rebounds to register her team-leading eighth double-double of the season.

The Coyotes will play the winner of the South Dakota State-North Dakota State matchup in Tuesday's title game set for 1 p.m. CT on ESPNU.  

Turning Point
USD's Hannah Sjerven scored the first nine points of the second quarter to break a 10-10 tie and the Coyotes would never trail again.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sjerven finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season.
  • After a 5-for-20 effort from the field in the first quarter, USD went 22-for-48 after that.
  • Lippe recorded her team-leading eighth double-double to pace the Golden Eagles in both categories.
  • USD outscored ORU 44-14 in the paint.
  • ORU was just the second Summit League team to hold the Coyotes under 70 points in a contest.
  • Neither team shot well from three-point range as ORU finished 5-for-21 and USD was 4-for-22.

News & Notes

  • South Dakota has advanced to the championship game in seven of the past eight years and defeated Oral Roberts in three of those semifinal-victories.
  • The Coyotes won the title in 2014 but lost the other five title-game appearances.
  • South Dakota improved to 15-6 all-time in the tournament and leads the all-time series with Oral Roberts 14-3. This will be their third-consecutive title game appearance.
  • ORU is now 23-12 all-time in tournament games.

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