South Dakota came into the 2018-19 season having never scored a win over an Associated Press Top 25 team. On Saturday, the Coyotes achieved the feat for the second time this season by winning on the road in convincing fashion, 75-61 over No. 22 Missouri. South Dakota (10-1) entered the year 0-5 all-time against teams ranked in the Top 25, but earlier in the season scored a home win over then No. 22 Iowa State on Nov. 28 by a 64-59 count.
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With the win over Missouri, South Dakota extends its winning streak to eight games and boasts the program's best start in the NCAA Division I era. The loss ended Missouri's (8-3) own five-game winning streak. The Tigers entered the season with a 53-game nonconference home winning streak dating back to Dec. 3, 2011. With losses this season to Green Bay and now South Dakota, the Tigers have won 56 of their last 58 nonconference home games.
South Dakota was led by junior guard Ciara Duffy, who scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. She grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists in her fourth 20-point game of the season. Joining Duffy in double figures were sophomore guard Monica Arens and senior guard Allison Arens with 13 and 11 points, respectively. The sisters each grabbed three rebounds.
Missouri was led by two-time all-SEC guard Sophie Cunningham's double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She was 6-of-15 from the floor.
The Tigers started off hot, making three consecutive 3-pointers to jump out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter. South Dakota slowly chipped away at the deficit and tied the game midway through the second period. The Coyotes used a 10-point run midway through the third quarter to pull away and entered the final frame leading 56-44 after a last second fade away jumper by junior forward Taylor Frederick. Frederick finished with nine points and five rebounds.
South Dakota shot 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the field, outscoring the Tigers 30-16 in the paint. Missouri shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) in the game and made 33.3 percent (12-of-36) from downtown. The Coyotes also capitalized with 15 points off of 13 Missouri turnovers.
Included in South Dakota’s 10 wins this season, beyond the Top 25 wins over Iowa State and Missouri, are victories over Creighton and Green Bay, two teams that were part of the 2018 NCAA tournament field. The only loss for the Coyotes came on Nov. 15 on the road at Drake, with the defending Missouri Valley Conference champions prevailing 76-64.
South Dakota's next three games will be played in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, at the Puerto Rico Classic. The Coyotes face Grambling State, Loyola Marymount and Indiana in three consecutive days from Dec. 19-21.
Views from Puerto Rico 👀🌞👌🏼— South Dakota Womens Basketball (@SDCoyotesWBB) December 17, 2018
Tour of Old San Juan up next 🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/e6O05OKfLM