Senior of the week: Hannah Sjerven; South Dakota. In the Summit League opening weekend, South Dakota flexed its muscles with a weekend sweep of Denver.
Sjerven was a big reason for the dueling victories.
In Saturday’s 87-47 win, she would go 8-10 from the field and 7-11 from the line, scoring 23 points.
She also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double.
On Sunday, Sjerven was again a big factor in USD’s 89-74 win.
The senior scored 25 points and had nine rebounds, both team highs for the Coyotes.
Junior of the week: Danni Nichols had two productive outings over the weekend against North Dakota State. The Western Illinois junior finished with 26 points, seven rebounds, three steals, three assists, and two blocks as WIU and NDSU split games. The Leathernecks won the first game on Saturday 77-65 but fell 93-60 on Sunday at home. Nichols made a season-high six free throws against NDSU in Sunday’s game and is shooting 66 percent from the charity stripe this season.
Sophomore of the week: Time for me to select the Reaching the Summit Podcast Sophomore of the week. When choosing, sometimes it is not about the top performer getting the prize. For last weekend’s worth of games, I wanted to mention North Dakota’s Maggie Manson. While the stat line was not up to her desired standards, she played EVERY minute (all 45) of the overtime game vs UMKC which was a tough 71-67 home loss. I watched that entire game and really enjoyed the hustle and desire of Manson and her teammates. Good time for a shout out to the Iron Eight of North Dakota. They are fighters that are for sure & have a fan in me.
Freshmen of the week: Morgan Hansen gave South Dakota some strong energy off the bench in two games against Denver over the weekend. Hansen finished with 14 points in two wins over the Pioneers and connected on four of her nine 3-pointers. In the Coyotes’ second game of their back-to-back, Hansen played 27 minutes, scored six points, hauled down four rebounds and dished out four assists in USD’s 89-74 win over DU. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native has now made two or more 3-pointers in four of USD’s last five games.
Bench player of the week: The Bench players of the week goes to the NDSU WBB team. The 5 bench players became starters in game 2 after the first-night loss to WIU. The bench squad got the Bison on a much better start in the first quarter to the tune of 23-12 and that day the green & gold did not look back. The new bench, who were starters, certainly picked up and played much better too. Good move by Coach Collins and it does show the Bison WBB depth is now there and ready to go to battle each weekend.
Defense of the week: The nod for this week’s Summit League Defense of the Week goes to the Coyotes of South Dakota. The preseason favorites looked the part in 2 games versus Denver. On Saturday the Yotes held Denver to just 27% shooting. South Dakota also had a huge44-26 rebound edge in the game. The Pioneers managed just 47 points. Sunday looked to be a similar story, Denver managed to close the gap in the 4th quarter against USD reserves, but before that USD held Denver to 38% shooting for the game and the game was never in doubt thanks to the stinginess of the Yotes on the defensive end. USD travels to Kansas City next weekend for the next of the 2 game sets.