Release courtesy of GoYotes.com
VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota women's basketball caps off the final Associated Press Poll at No. 17 and the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 11.
The No. 17/11 Coyotes (30-2) ended the season on a 19-game winning streak, running the table to garner the Summit League regular season crown and capturing the program's second Summit League Tournament title. South Dakota became the first program in Summit League history to go undefeated through both the regular season and tournament – and ran through league foes by an average victory margin of more than 30 points per game.
South Dakota was one of many successful women's basketball teams across the country who's seasons came to an abrupt halt last week when the NCAA announced the cancellation of all winter and spring championships. It marks the first time in history that the NCAA Tournament will not be played.
This marks South Dakota's 16th consecutive week in the USA Today Coaches Poll, setting a new Summit League record for both consecutive and total weeks in the coaches' poll in a season. No. 11 also marks the highest that any Summit League team has ranked in either national poll. It is also South Dakota's 12th week in the Associated Press Poll, extending the Summit League record for the most weeks in the poll in a single season.
The Coyotes were led by the espnW Mid-Major Player of the Year Ciara Duffy. She averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and five assists per game in her senior campaign.
Junior center Hannah Sjerven, another Summit League first team honoree, averaged 12.2 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds and two blocks per game. Junior guard Chloe Lamb, a second-team all-Summit pick, averaged 11.2 points with a league-best 47.1 percent from 3-point range. Senior forward Taylor Frederick, the league's Sixth Woman of the Year, finished with 10 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
South Dakota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit, a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith Women's Coach of the Year, moves to the top of the Summit League charts for winning percentage both overall (.821) and in league play (.887).
No. 17/11 South Dakota reached 30 wins for the third time in program history. The Coyotes' program record of 33 wins was set in 2007-08 when the team finished runner-up at the NCAA Division II Tournament, while USD tallied 32 wins with a Women's National Invitation Tournament title in 2015-16.