VERMILLION – Hannah Sjerven has a three inches in height on any player Creighton tried to guard her with. The mismatch resulted in a career high in points as the 24th ranked Coyotes take down Creighton 72-63 Wednesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
“I think my teammates did a really good job,” Sjerven said. “I know that’s a really scripted answer but truly, I couldn’t have scored that much if they didn’t get me the ball.”
Sjerven finished the night with 28 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Sjerven used her size to her advantage in the first half, getting to the line and drawing double-teams.
Sjerven continued her dominance in the second half, starting with the first four points for the Coyotes (8-1), even with a double-team on her. The Coyotes presence inside lead to a points in the paint and rebound advantage in favor of the Coyotes.
On the defensive end, Sjerven didn’t commit a foul while getting five blocks.
“I thought she (Sjerven) did a good job of staying in a stance and helping when it made sense but also getting back to her kid and not giving up perimeter shots,” USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “Against Creighton there are times with the way they move the ball. Their movement off the ball is so good.”
The Coyotes held an 18-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter in large part to efficient scoring by the Coyotes and the Bluejays (6-2) missing a few open looks. Creighton built a bit of momentum in the second quarter, shooting 50% from the field and from three, while holding the Coyotes under 30% for the quarter.
The third quarter went similar to the first, with Sjerven playing great inside and the Coyote defense holding Creighton in check. The Coyotes went on a 10-2 run midway through the fourth quarter, where Sjerven scored eight of the 10 points for the Coyotes. From there on it was a coast to the finish line for USD.
Monica Arens dealt with foul trouble throughout the game, resulting in just three shot attempts and no points. Liv Korngable filled in Arens’ role offensively with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.
“I think she (Korngable) did really good. We need someone to come off the bench and brings energy sometimes,” Madison McKeever said. “Sometimes the starting five just needs an extra boost. Sometimes if there is foul trouble or we’re just kind of gassed, we need that energy to come off the bench and Liv did an excellent job bringing that tonight.”
Ciara Duffy, coming off a South Point Shootout MVP last week, tallied 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. The lone stat going against the Coyotes for the game was the turnover battle, which Creighton won 17-9.
The Coyotes’ perimeter defense held Creighton to just 6-of-28 (21.4%) from beyond the arc and 23-of-59 (39%) overall.
The Coyotes next game is against Coppin State on Saturday in Vermillion. Coppin State faces South Dakota State in Brookings today (Thursday) before coming down to Vermillion.
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Tatum Rembao 6-14 1-2 13, Dee Dee Pryor 2-2 0-0 4, Temi Carda 3-11 0-0 7, Jaylyn Agnew 2-9 6-6 12, Gracey Griglione 0-1 0-0 0, Rachael Saunders 2-4 3-4 8, Olivia Elger 2-5 2-2 6, Carly Bachelor 0-1 0-0 0, Payton Brotzki 5-10 1-1 13, Mykel Parham 1-2 0-0 2. TOTALS 23-59 13-15 65.
South Dakota (8-1)
Claudia Kunzer 0-1 0-0 0, Liv Korngable 3-5 0-0 8, Monica Arens 0-3 0-0 0, Taylor Frederick 3-7 1-2 8, Megan Bonar 0-0 0-0 0, Chloe Lamb 3-6 0-0 7, Madison McKeever 3-7 2-2 8, Ciara Duffy 5-9 2-3 13, Jeniah Ugofsky 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Sjerven 9-15 10-13 28. TOTALS 26-53 15-20 72.
Creighton 11 22 13 19 – 65
South Dakota 18 15 20 19 – 72
Three-Pointers: CU 6-28 (Brotzki 2-5, Agnew 2-8, Carda 1-7, Saunders 1-1, Elger 0-2, Rembao 0-5), USD 5-10 (Korngable 2-3, Lamb 1-1, Frederick 1-1, Duffy 1-2, McKeever 0-2). Rebounds: USD 39 (Sjerven 9), CU 23 (Saunders 5). Personal Fouls: CU 18, USD 16. Fouled Out: None. Assists: USD 13 (Duffy 4), CU 9 (Agnew 2, Rembao 2, Carda 2). Turnovers: USD 17, CU 9 Blocked Shots: USD 6 (Sjerven 5), CU 5 (Agnew 2, Griglione 2). Steals: CU 8 (Rembao 2), USD 2 (McKeever 1, Duffy 1). Attendance: 2,146.