Polly Harrington scored 15 points and Alexis Yackley recorded nine assists to lead the South Dakota women’s basketball team past Lamar 71-48 in the Women’s Basketball Invitational quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon in Beaumont, Texas.
The Coyotes (19-15) will now host a semifinal matchup with McNeese State (20-14, 11-7 Southland) on Thursday night at 6 p.m. (Mountain).
Harrington shot 7-for-8 in the game and scored 13 points in the first half, while Yackley led the Coyotes in assists and rebounds for the second-straight game. Yackley had eight rebounds and finished the game with 442 career assists, passing Kelly Gese’s 439 career assist mark for fourth on USD’s all-time assist list.
Tempestt Wilson and Nicole Seekamp added 14 and 13 points, respectively. Seekamp finished the game by scoring her 500th point this season, becoming the eighth player in program history to accomplish that feat.
Rapid City Stevens graduate Margaret McCloud came off the bench to score six points and grab five rebounds.
As a team, USD had 20 assists on 27 field goals, shot 51 percent from the field and held a 32-18 advantage in points in the paint.
Lamar (22-11, 12-6 Southland) was led by Carenn Baylor’s 16 points and Gia Ayers’ seven points. The Cardinals played most of the game without their all-time leading scorer Kalis Loyd, who played only 12 minutes because of an ankle injury.
South Dakota went on a 24-7 run over the last 7 minutes, 41 seconds of the first half to turn a 20-15 deficit into a 39-27 halftime lead. USD shot 10-of-12 during the stretch and clamped down defensively, holding Lamar to 3-for-11 shooting and forcing three turnovers.
The Coyotes continued to shut down Lamar in the second half, holding the Cardinals to 20 percent shooting and never letting the lead shrink to less than 10 points.
If the Coyotes win the semifinal matchup against McNeese State, they will play at Detroit (19-13, 9-7 Horizon League) or Pennsylvania (18-12, 9-5 Ivy League) in the tournament championship next weekend.