SAN ANTONIO (GoYotes.com) —First half shooting woes plagued 11th-seeded South Dakota in a 67-47 loss to sixth-seeded Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday night.
Senior center Hannah Sjerven finished with her 11th double-double of the season, tallying 18 points and 12 boards to lead the Coyotes. Senior guard Liv Korngable joined her in double-figures with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
This was South Dakota’s third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth all-time in Division I. The Coyotes (19-6) were back-to-back Summit League Tournament champions.
Oregon (14-8) scored 19 unanswered points in the first half to put the game out reach. South Dakota rebounded from its shooting woes in the first half by connecting on 42 percent (14-of-33) from the field and 42 percent (5-of-12) from three in the second half. The Coyotes outscored the Ducks 38-33 in the second half.
The Ducks were led by 6-foot-2 forward Erin Boley’s 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. She had 10 points in the first frame as Oregon made its run. The 6-foot-5 Nyara Sabally, younger sister of WNBA player Satou Sabally, added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. The 6-foot-7 Sedona Prince was 5-of-6 from the floor for 12 points. Oregon’s starting five are all listed at 5-foot-11 or taller.
Senior guard Chloe Lamb climbed into 10th on South Dakota’s all-time scoring charts in the game. She became the third athlete coached by Plitzuweit to rank in the top-10.
Monday night marked the final career game for the Coyotes’ ultimate hype woman, senior Claudia Kunzer. She was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Untold Tales” last April for her personality and courtside antics.
Prior to the season, the NCAA announced that this basketball season will not count against a student-athlete’s eligibility clock. South Dakota’s remaining four seniors – Sjerven, Korngable, Lamb and Monica Arens – have either announced their decision to return for another year or have not yet determined their future plans.