WBB: Yotes play Oregon to open NCAA Tournament

VERMILLION, S.D. (GoYotes.com) —South Dakota women’s basketball earned a No. 11 seed and will play sixth-seeded Oregon at 9 p.m. on Monday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament held in San Antonio, Texas. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.

South Dakota (19-5) earned an automatic bid by winning the Summit League Tournament six days ago. This marks the Coyotes’ third-straight NCAA Tournament berth under Plitzuweit, nabbing back-to-back Summit tournament trophies in Sioux Falls.

It is the fourth NCAA Division I tournament appearance for South Dakota in nine years of eligibility. The Coyotes qualified for eight NCAA tournaments 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 8-10 all-time in NCAA tournament play.

Monday’s matchup will be the second between South Dakota and Oregon. In the lone meeting between the two teams, the Coyotes defeated the Ducks 88-54 in the semifinals en route to winning the 2016 Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The sixth-seeded Oregon finished the regular season 13-8 and 10-7 in the Pac-12.

The winner of Monday’s matchup will take on the winner of third-seeded Georgia (20-6) and 14th-seeded Drexel (14-8) in the round of 32.

Three-time Summit League Coach of the Year Dawn Plitzuweit is in her fifth season with the Coyotes. South Dakota’s squad is led by all-league trio Hannah Sjerven, Chloe Lamb and Liv Korngable, accounting for 63.7 percent of the team’s scoring. Sjerven is the two-time Summit Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year.

The Coyotes depart for San Antonio at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Send the Yotes off with a socially distanced parade along Rose Street and east down Cherry Street. Fans are asked to avoid congregating near the bus loading zone to help protect the team’s Tier 1 bubble.