South Dakota women's basketball team closed out its 13th-straight win Thursday against Western Illinois. With Louisville's loss to North Carolina State on Thursday snapping the Cardinals' 15-game win-streak, the Coyotes (15-4, 8-0 Summit) now own the longest active win streak in Division-I college women's basketball.
A lot has gone into USD's improvement. The Coyotes entered the start of their win-streak losing four of their first six games of the season and two in a row. Here's a look at the numbers behind South Dakota's success — one for each of USD's consecutive wins.
The number of home conference losses South Dakota women's basketball has experienced since the 2016-17 season. USD is perfect at home through this year's nonconference schedule, adding to the total of 35-straight Summit League wins at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Western Illinois was the last team to beat South Dakota at home, winning 86-78 on Jan. 28, 2017.
The number of games South Dakota won by 10-plus points after trailing at halftime throughout its win streak. USD's 70-53 win over Western Illinois marked the first time the Coyotes were losing at the break in Summit League play, but it happened twice before against Pittsburgh and Creighton. Of those two games, only the Bluejays prevented USD from separating by double-digits.
The amount of 20-point games senior guard Chloe Lamb has had since the start of the win streak. Throughout the win streak, Lamb has established herself as one of the best mid-major players in the country (she was added to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Midseason Watch List) and perhaps the best player in the Summit League. She started the win-streak with a 30-point performance against Pittsburgh, then scored 20 points or more against both Creighton (20) and North Dakota State (27). Twice, she had 18 points, just shy of the 20-point mark.
South Dakota's shooting percentage over its 13-game win streak. USD was the worst-shooting team in the Summit League entering the league schedule, and a lot of that had to do with its first six games of the season. The Coyotes shot 36.8% in their first six games of the year, including two games of less than 30% shooting. But their recent hot stretch has pulled their season shooting up to 42.7%.
The number of games South Dakota women's basketball guard Kyah Watson has hit multiple 3-pointers. USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit described Watson's offensive game as "in progress," and over the course of the last 13 games, she is already starting to show some improvements. She's shot 37% from 3-point range during the win streak, and her scoring average has jumped by 3.9 points per contest since Nov. 27.
The number of points that South Dakota has outscored opponents over its 13-game win streak. It's an average of a 20.5-point win per game, with the highest margin of victory a 39-point victory over North Dakota on Dec. 30.
The number of games an opponent has recorded double-digit assists against the Coyotes since the start of the win streak. While USD has racked up 12 of their own, including eight games of 15-plus assists and two games of 20-plus assists, the USD defense has stopped the ball movement of the opponent in nearly half its games since Nov. 27 against Pittsburgh.
Freshman guard Maddie Krull's scoring average during the win streak. Krull entered the Coyotes' matchup with Pittsburgh averaging 4.8 points per game, but since then, she has recorded five games of 10-plus points while reaching a season-high of 16 against Creighton. A member of USD's starting lineup in every game she's appeared in this year, her scoring average has jumped to 7.1 on the season in addition to tallying 4.1 rebounds and two assists.
USD's steals per game average since Nov. 27 against Pittsburgh. South Dakota's Summit League-leading scoring defense has been more disruptive in recent months, racking up plenty of steals and forcing plenty of turnovers.
The Coyotes' seed in ESPN's latest NCAA Women's Basketball Bracketology. If the NCAA Tournament selection were to happen Friday, ESPN predicts USD (the predicted Summit League automatic qualifier) would head to Bloomington, Indiana to face No. 7 Duke.
The amount of free-throw attempts South Dakota has allowed opponents to take per game since Nov. 27. Part of the success of the USD defense is their ability to defend without fouling, and the limited attempts opponents have taken at the line are an example of that. By comparison, the average Summit League team has taken 291.2 free throw attempts, which over a 20-game schedule would be 14.6 attempts per game.
The number of wins by at least 10 points that South Dakota has had over its 13-game win streak. The Coyotes' 73-71 win over Creighton on Dec. 16 was the only one-possession game USD has played in since its season-opening loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 9.
The win streak since Nov. 27 against Pittsburgh. Chloe Lamb's 30 points sparked USD in an overtime victory over the Panthers on the last day at the Paradise Jam, starting the Coyotes' longest win streak since it won 19 in a row in 2020 before the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: South Dakota Coyotes' 13-game winning streak: By the numbers