South Dakota women’s basketball enters AP Top 25

VERMILLION, S.D. (GoYotes.com)—South Dakota women’s basketball enters the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in school history. The Coyotes are ranked at No. 25 after receiving votes for 10 consecutive weeks this season.

South Dakota stands at 22-3 on the season in the midst of the program’s best NCAA Division I season to date.

The Coyotes have two AP Top 25 wins on their resume, knocking off No. 23 Iowa State, 64-59, inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center back in November. USD also topped No. 22 Missouri, 74-61, on the road in Columbia on Dec. 15.

This marks South Dakota’s first time being ranked since the 2007-08 season. In their final season of NCAA Division II, the Coyotes went 33-2 en route to finishing as NCAA Division II Runners-Up. South Dakota was ranked second in the USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches Top-25 poll at the end of the season.

The Coyotes become the first Summit League program to be ranked since the 2008-09 season. South Dakota State was ranked for eight-straight weeks in 2009 and finished the season at No. 19. The Coyotes are just the third Summit League program to be ranked in history, joining South Dakota State (2008-09) and Northern Illinois (1993-94).

South Dakota boasts a balanced offense led by junior guard Ciara Duffy’s 14.9 points per game. The Coyotes are the league’s top defense, holding foes to 57.8 points per game this season. South Dakota’s 19-point scoring margin ranks ninth in the nation.

Last week, the Coyotes completed the regular season sweep of Omaha and Oral Roberts. South Dakota held Omaha scoreless, 29-0, in the first quarter en route to a 78-33 victory. Following that up, the Coyotes came down from a double-figure deficit to defeat Oral Roberts 75-64 behind a big fourth quarter.

South Dakota plays at Western Illinois on Saturday before returning home to their Sanford Coyote Sports Center for three of their final four regular season games. Tickets can be purchased on GoYotes.com.