SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Hannah Sjerven scored nine of her 15 points in the fourth quarter and 17th-ranked South Dakota earned a return trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 63-58 win over second-seeded South Dakota State in the Summit League championship game on Tuesday.
The Coyotes trailed 47-45 when South Dakota State scored the last seven points of the third quarter but they held the Jackrabbits to one field goal in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter to grab their third NCAA berth.
Sjerven scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and the Coyotes’ first nine. South Dakota, only 4 of 11 from the field in the quarter, made 10 of 15 free throws but just 4 of 8 in the final minute.
South Dakota State, seeking its 12th NCAA berth, was 3 of 9 from the field and had five turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The rivals were meeting in the title game for the third year in a row and sixth time overall with South Dakota State (23-10) winning the previous five. Last season the Coyotes (30-2) became the first Summit team to earn an at-large bid.
South Dakota, which won the regular-season meetings by 35 and 10 points, trailed 32-27 at halftime for just its fourth deficit at intermission.
Tagyn Larson scored 16 points for the Jackrabbits and Rylie Cascio Jensen scored 13 points, hitting four 3-pointers, with eight rebounds and five assists.
South Dakota State made 6 of 9 3-pointers in the first half but just 2 of 8 in the second and was outscored by 11 at the foul line.
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