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Coyotes Looking For Another Deep Run At The Summit League Tournament

After rebounding from a slow start to the Summit League regular season, South Dakota is playing some of its best basketball of the season heading the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.

The Coyotes, who were winless in the conference after four games this season, won seven of their next ten, including five of seven down the stretch to grab the number four seed in this weekend’s event.

The final weekend of the regular season featured a split at home for USD.

Thursday, the Coyotes dug themselves a big hole against North Dakota State, falling behind by as many as 19 in the second half, as the Bison had two players (Marena Whittle and Holly Johnson) each finish the game with 31 points.

But South Dakota shot 53 percent in the second half and came all the way back to force overtime where they took control and won by eight.

SUMMIT LEAGUE RECAP: USD 95 NDSU 87 (OT)

Head coach Amy Williams told me she was impressed by the fight her team showed in that comeback:

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After that win, the Coyotes had designs on finishing the year in third place, but South Dakota State hit five early 3-pointers and a couple of key long range shots late to sweep the season series with USD.

SUMMIT LEAGUE RECAP: SDSU 99 USD 88

Coach Williams knows the Jackrabbits dial it up a notch for those rivalry games each year:

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So with the number four seed at this weekend’s Summit League Tournament, the Coyotes get Western Illinois in Sunday afternoon’s quarterfinal game.

USD made it all the way to the title game last season, before losing to South Dakota State.  Coach Williams hopes this team can draw from that experience, but she also acknowledges that the makeup of the roster is different this time around:

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USD split the season series with the Leathernecks with WIU winning in Vermillion in January and the Coyotes returning the favor in Macomb in February.

One of the key differences ion the two games was 3-point shooting.  In the Leathernecks win, they hit 13. In the Coyotes win, they limited WIU to just five triples.

Coach Williams knows that will be one of the keys to Sunday’s game:

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Tipoff is Sunday at noon at the Sioux Falls Arena.  The winner plays top seed South Dakota State at noon Monday.

SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

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