Coyote basketball leads Summit in attendance

VERMILLION, S.D.—University of South Dakota basketball led the Summit League in attendance for the second time in three seasons.

Buoyed by the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, some of the best players in the conference and the Coyote Crazies student section, South Dakota drew 68,407 fans for 30 men’s and women’s basketball games for an average of 2,280 fans per game. Only two other Summit programs reached 50,000 fans for the year and only one topped 2,000 fans per game. USD’s student section numbers rose considerably and more than 100 students were in attendance throughout the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.

The Coyote women, of course, turned in perhaps the best performance in Summit League history. Coach Dawn Plitzuweit’s squad compiled a 30-2 record, smashed Summit League foes by more than 30 points per game, and achieved a No. 11 national ranking. Ciara Duffy is the Mid-Major Player of the Year, and a Summit-record five players received all-conference recognition.

South Dakota’s men turned in a 20-win season in year two under alum Todd Lee. The team’s improvement from last year was one of the best in the country. Lee’s senior-laden ball club featured an efficient starting lineup in which all five players averaged double figures for scoring. Senior Tyler Hagedorn is an all-district and all-Summit performer who led the nation in 3-point percentage. Junior Stanley Umude was the Preseason Summit League Player of the Year and is now a two-time all-conference honoree.

Summit League Combined Total Attendance
1. South Dakota 68,407
2. South Dakota State 60,293
3. Oral Roberts 50,776
4. North Dakota State 47,861
5. Omaha 39,530
6. North Dakota 36,406
7. Purdue Fort Wayne 25,517
8. Denver 22,370
9. Western Illinois 18,271

Summit League Combined Average Attendance
1. South Dakota 2,280
2. South Dakota State 2,010
3. Oral Roberts 1,813
4. North Dakota State 1,650
5. Omaha 1,464
6. North Dakota 1,517
7. Purdue Fort Wayne 880
8. Denver 746
9. Western Illinois 653