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    USD WBB: Coyotes to host North Dakota in first round of WNIT

    VERMILLION, S.D.–The South Dakota women’s basketball team will host North Dakota in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

    The 64-team bracket was announced late Monday. The winner will face either Iowa or Missouri State in the second round at a date and time to be determined.

    As the reigning WNIT Champions, South Dakota (22-8) earned an at-large bid to the tournament after finishing with an 11-5 record in the Summit League. USD is one of three league teams to earn a spot in the WNIT as the league boasted its best RPI (11th) in history at the end of the regular season. The Coyotes are competing in a postseason tournament for the seventh consecutive season with its fourth WNIT appearance in that span. South Dakota is 8-2 all-time in the WNIT.

    North Dakota (20-10) earns the Big Sky’s automatic bid to the WNIT after a 15-3 record in conference play. The Fighting Hawks were co-regular season champions with Montana State, who won the Big Sky Tournament last week. North Dakota is making its first appearance in the WNIT after consecutive trips to the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) and a 2014 trip to the NCAA Tournament.

    South Dakota and North Dakota meet for the 73rd time in program history and fourth time in consecutive seasons. The two programs were conference foes in the North Central Conference and Great West Conference. Since the Coyotes’ move to the Summit in 2011-12, USD has won two out of three meetings with UND. The two programs will return to conference foes with the Fighting Hawks’ move to the Summit League in 2018-19.

    Reserved seating tickets for Thursday’s game are $15 for adults and $8 for youth. Tickets can be ordered online at, by phone at 605-677-5959 or in person at the Coyote Ticket Office.

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