VERMILLION, S.D. (GoYotes.com) —South Dakota women’s basketball earned a No. 10 seed and will play seventh-seeded Ole Miss on Friday in Waco, Texas, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
This marks South Dakota’s fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Dawn Plitzuweit and fifth overall in NCAA Division I.
South Dakota (27-5) earned the Summit League’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament with a 56-45 win over South Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament’s championship game. USD has won three-straight Summit League Tournament trophies in Sioux Falls.
The Summit’s Player of the Year and Tournament MVP Chloe Lamb leads the Coyotes with 16 points per game. Three-time Summit League Defensive Player of the Year and first-team selection Hannah Sjerven averages 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. All-Summit second-team honoree Liv Korngable joins them in double-figures with 12.8 points and a team-high 3.7 assists per game. The league’s Sixth Woman of the Year Grace Larkins adds 6.8 points per game off the bench.
Ole Miss (23-8) tied for fourth in the SEC standings with a 10-6 record. The Rebels are led by 6-foot-5 senior center Shakira Austin, a two-time first-team all-SEC honoree who leads her team with 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Senior Angel Baker, the SEC Sixth Woman of the Year, is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10 points per game. The Rebels advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament where they fell to South Carolina. Six of their eight losses were to nationally-ranked teams including three losses to South Carolina.
The winner of Friday’s matchup will take on the winner of second-seeded Baylor (27-6) and 15-seeded Hawai’i (20-9) in the round of 32.
USD has reached the big dance five times in 10 years of Division I eligibility. The Coyotes qualified for eight NCAA Tournament appearances at the Division II level, including a runner-up finish in 2008 – the year before the program began its transition to Division I. USD is 8-11 all-time in NCAA tournament play.