Category Archives: South Dakota Women’s Basketball

USD WBB team is visiting Australia

SD PawPrint_2C_whiteThe University of South Dakota women’s basketball team left Sunday for Australia. It’s a bonding trip with some basketball mixed in. The girls will play three games in Australia and get the chance to do some exploring as well. Fortunately for the team they have native Australian Jasmine Trimboli to help show the way. I had the chance to catch up with Trimboli, Caitlin Duffy and head coach Dawn Plitzuweit to talk about the trip before they departed.

See the itinerary here.

South Dakota head women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit talks about the transition do USD and Vermillion and also about the excitement of going to Australia with the team.

Senior Caitlin Duffy is excited for a once in a lifetime opportunity that will also be a basketball trip with teammates.

Jasmine Trimboli gets the chance to return to her home country and play basketball in front of family and friends. She will also help show her USD teammates a new culture.

The USD women’s basketball team will open the upcoming season on Nov. 11 at the Sanford Pentagon against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Tickets for the game will go on sale in October.


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WNIT Director talks about selection

Every team has a goal of reaching the NCAA tournament. It doesn’t matter if you get matched up against a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. The feeling of being in the NCAA tournament for athletes and coaches is incredible. But not everyone gets into the tournament.

In women’s basketball 64 teams get the opportunity to play in the tournament. That teams more than 250 teams, many of which had a great season, on the outside looking in. That’s where other postseason opportunities come into play. For women’s basketball there are two more – Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) and Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI). With 64 teams in the WNIT and 16 more in the WBI that gives an additional 80 teams a chance to play for a championship and 144 total teams in women’s postseason tournaments. Continue reading

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Holly Johnson career at NDSU is over

Someone is going to pick up a talented player.

According to Jeff Kolpack of the Fargo Forum, Holly Johnson has played her last game for the Bison due to an injury. A foot injury has kept Johnson out of the lineup this season and apparently the injury has not healed enough for her to play this season. NDSU head coach Maren Walseth decided not to redshirt Johnson and move the program in a different direction.

Johnson has played every season for the Bison, including as a true freshman. Over the last two years she has averaged over 13 points and 6 rebounds per game. Johnson played in 87 games for the Bison and started all 59 over the last two years.

Johnson will be able to use the graduate transfer rule, since she will graduate from NDSU, and be immediately eligible next season.

In her career against South Dakota, Johnson has averaged 12 points and six rebounds in 27.5 minutes per game. Johnson’s best game against the Coyotes was in 2014 when she scored 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds. In that game USD rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Bison in overtime, 95-87. Oddly enough, in the only win for the Bison over USD in her career Johnson was held scoreless in a 2013 game.

With the ability to play right away Johnson can be a big addition to a team that needs immediate help on the inside.

Holly Johnson career against USD (regular season)

DATE               RESULT         PTS        REB          MIN
2/8/2015        L 83-79             8             6               33
1/15/2015       L 84-69           14            10             33
2/27/2014     L 95-87 OT       31            8               37
1/30/2014      L 83-70            13             5               24
2/2/2013        W 57-50            0             3               16
1/3/2013         L  73-52            6              6               22

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WBB: Do you follow bracketology?

SD PawPrint_2C_whiteThere is usually a large following for men’s basketball bracketology as the season gets closer to the end. And I think women’s basketball following is certainly growing. How early do you start watching the bracket predictions? Do the predictions matter to you at all? Obviously none of the predictions mean that is what will happen at the end of the season or have any bearing on the selection committee decisions, but it’s still fun to follow. Especially if you have a horse in the race.

Brecketologists pretty much look at how teams are currently doing and then decide who is better of their seed groupings and start to put the bracket together. For most mid-major conferences they look at who the current team is at the top of the standings and put them into the projection. That is how we find South Dakota in the women’s basketball bracketology.  Continue reading

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WBB: South Dakota tops SDSU, in first place

The South Dakota women’s basketball team defeated in-state rival South Dakota State on Saturday, 82-78. The Jackrabbits were without leading scorer Megan Waytashek (14.1ppg), who missed the game due to illness. Raeshel Contreras led USD with a career-high 32 points. The senior is averaging 24 ppg over her last three and the Coyotes have won all three of those games. She has also led the team in scoring in eight of 18 contests this season.

The Coyotes are now at the top of the Summit League with a 4-1 mark in league games and 14-4 overall.

                                   Conf                                        All
South Dakota 4-1 14-4
North Dakota State 4-2 8-10
Western Illinois 3-2 11-7
Denver 3-2 6-13
South Dakota State 3-3 12-7
Oral Roberts 3-3 9-10
IUPUI 2-3 7-11
Fort Wayne 1-4 7-11
Omaha 1-4 6-11

South Dakota is back on the road this week when they travel to Fort Wayne on Thursday and IUPUI on Saturday. Through 24 leagues games this season home teams are 19-5.

Watch highlights of Saturday’s win on by clicking here.

After the game I joined Jay Elsen of Midco Sports to talk about the game.

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WBB: USD tops Northern Iowa to start home stand

The Coyote women jumped out to a lead early against Northern Iowa, but the Panthers pesky defense towards the end helped UNI close the gap. South Dakota was able to hold off the charge and defeat UNI 85-77. The Coyotes are now 5-0 all-time against Northern Iowa when playing inside DakotaDome. USD now leads the series 6-5 overall, which means the Coyotes are just 1-5 in Cedar Falls. Can we just schedule this opponent in the Dome only?

Oh, by the way, the team shot 60 percent in the game, which isn’t bad.

Tia Hemiller scored a career-high 20 points in the win and dominated at the end of the game to hold off UNI. She has taken over in the final minute in back-to-back games to help South Dakota to the win. Coyotes are now 5-2 on the season and will host Cal State Fullerton tomorrow.

After the game Jay Elsen and I sat down for a video blog to talk about the Coyote win. I always appreciate the chance to be on with Jay, who also hosts Coyote Corner on Tuesday nights at 8pm CT on Midco Sports Net.

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WBB: Five straight in the Dome

Al McGuire Center at Marquette University. South Dakota earned a 69-65 win over the Big East Golden Eagles on Sunday.

Al McGuire Center at Marquette University. South Dakota earned a 69-65 win over the Big East Golden Eagles on Sunday.

It’s been a little while since I shared some thoughts on South Dakota women’s basketball. If you haven’t been paying attention the Coyotes have won two straight and are 4-2 on the season after a win over Marquette on Sunday. Any time a mid-major can get a win over a bigger conference opponent you really appreciate the effort. Marquette, of course from the Big East Conference, is that win for the Coyotes. After letting Kansas slip away and watching Washington’s offense come alive this was the last chance – until the postseason – to get this type of win. And they did. Continue reading

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WBB Preview: South Dakota at Portland State

SD PawPrint_2C_whiteAfter a 1-1 start to the season the South Dakota women’s basketball team will play two games on the west coast, starting with Portland State tonight. The Vikings are 0-1 after falling in their season-opener at Seattle. The two teams have only met one time in history with South Dakota earning a 87-71 win in Vermillion on Dec. 28, 1992. The Coyotes opened their season with a win at Drake before falling on the road at Kansas on Sunday.

About South Dakota
The Coyotes are led by Raeshel Contreras and Nicole Seekamp. The two seniors have each poured in a 20 point effort this season. Contreras, the Summit League player of the week, is averaging 20.5 points per game through two contests, while Seekamp is averaging 14. Seekamp needs just 18 points to join the 1,000 point club at South Dakota. Only 20 other players have reached the mark at South Dakota, with Mandy Koupal’s 2,142 point career at the top. Speaking of scoring marks, Margaret McCloud is just 10 points away from her 500th career point. The junior has started two games this season after coming off the bench the first two years of her career. McCloud scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds at Kansas on Sunday to record the 7th double-double of her career.

About Portland State
The Vikings fell to Seattle on the road to start the season. They are without one of their top players to start the season after junior Alicia Carline suffered a hand injury diving for a loose ball in an exhibition game against George Fox. The 6’3″ center had 21 points and 10 rebounds at the time of her injury. Two players, Lariel Powell and Emily Easom, played 40 minutes in the first game of the season. Both players struggled from the field, but Powell dished out a career high seven assists. The Vikings only return two starters from last season and have six newcomers into the program. In the loss to Seattle, PSU was only able to score 16 points in the second half of play. The Vikings had three players score in double digits in the first game of the season. Portland State is directed by Sherri Murrell, who is in her eighth season.

Game information

Tipoff is set for 9:00pm CT. You can hear the game on Classic Hits 106.3 and with pregame beginning at 8:30pm.

Next upTomorrow night the Coyotes will be in Seattle to play the Washington Huskies.

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WBB: Contreras named player of the week

Picture from

Picture from

It’s always good to see one of the players your cover get recognized for a nice performance. Today the Summit League announced South Dakota senior guard Raeshel Contreras as player of the week for her performance on opening weekend. Contreras led South Dakota in scoring in an 83-78 win over Drake Friday night with 24 points, and, perhaps more importantly, she also grabbed nine rebounds. Sunday she got off to a slower start, but finished the game with 17 points in a 68-60 loss at Kansas. She also connected on another late three-pointer to pull South Dakota within three points in the final couple of minutes.  Continue reading

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The trip that was….#Timbelievable

The South Dakota women's basketball team the night before the season opener at Drake.

The South Dakota women’s basketball team the night before the season opener at Drake.

One of the best things about traveling with the USD women’s basketball team is the chance to travel. It can also be one of the worst things if everything doesn’t go as planned. As you may recall we had some bus troubles and were delayed leaving Des Moines Saturday morning. And by delay, I mean by 4 1/2 hours. Right before we were going to leave on Saturday we found out the bus needed new batteries. Well long story short, there was an issue that was more than just changing the batteries. Continue reading

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WBB PREVIEW: South Dakota at Kansas

After a season-opening win over Drake, 83-78, Friday night the South Dakota women’s basketball team will challenge the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks. The Coyotes are trying to start the season 2-0 for the first time under Amy Williams and for the first time since the 2011-2012 season when the team won its first four games of the season.

Kansas will be playing for the first time this season after a tough 2013-2014 campaign that saw the Jayhawks post a 13-19 record. Prior to last season Kansas made two straight Sweet 16 appearances.

Kansas has posted a 124-58 record in Allen Fieldhouse under Bonnie Henrickson, who enters her 9th season as the KU head coach. The Jayhawks are 9-1 in season opening games under the coach and have won nine straight. The last time Kansas lost its season opener was Nov. 21, 2004 in a 53-49 setback to Texas-Arlington. Overall the Jayhawks are 19-3 when opening their season at home.

Kansas is led by senior Chelsea Gardner – an All Big 12 preseason selection – who needs just 20 points to reach the 1,000 point club. The also hope for big play from Natalie Knight, who is second all-time at Kansas with a .384 mark from behind the arc. Knight made 63 shots from long range last season – 4th best in school history.

The Coyotes are fresh off a win over Drake that saw the bench explode for 41 points. The bench scoring was led by Kelly Stewart who scored 15 points in 20 minutes of play. Bridget Arens scored 11 points off the bench and was a perfect 3-3 from the field. The sophomore recorded a big steal late in the game that helped USD hold on to a win. Freshman Kate Liveringhouse was solid in her Coyote debut with nine points and three rebounds in 11 minutes of play.

The Coyotes will need to get their starters going if they are going to knock off the Jayhawks.

Kansas leads 2-0.
Last meeting: Kansas def. South Dakota 73-40 in 2010.

Game info:
Tipoff: 2:00pm
Radio: Coyote Sports Network (106.3 KVHT), or on KVHT mobile app.
TV: Game is available on ESPN3.

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Coyotes win opener, adventure continues

Last night I began my second season broadcasting South Dakota women’s basketball on the radio.

I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity. There are way to many people to thank for the chance to do this, but I will say this – For those of you who have impacted or influenced me along the way, Thank you! Continue reading

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PREVIEW: South Dakota WBB set to open season tonight against Drake

SD PawPrint_2C_whiteIt’s been 237 days (but really, who’s counting) since the South Dakota women’s basketball team saw their season end in the NCAA tournament – the school’s first as a DI program – at the hands of Stanford, who eventually made it to the Final Four.

Tonight the Coyote women will tip off their season at Drake. It’s the second time in three seasons the two teams have opened the season  at Knapp Center in Des Moines, IA. It’s the third straight season the teams have played. Two years ago the Coyotes edged Drake on the road 74-69. Last season the Bulldogs were victorious in overtime 89-81 in a game played at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.  Continue reading

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