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    USD WBB: Arens, Duffy honored on Summit Preseason Teams

    ELMHURST, Ill.–South Dakota women’s basketball has been selected third in the 2017-18 Summit League Preseason Poll released by the league office Wednesday. Junior guard Allison Arens was named to the Summit’s preseason first team and sophomore guard Ciara Duffy was voted to the second team. The polls were voted on by the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

    The Coyotes placed behind South Dakota State and Western Illinois in the team poll. South Dakota State was voted to the top spot with 380 points and 16 of the first-place votes. Defending Summit League regular season and tournament champion Western Illinois was picked second with 372 points and 12 first-place votes. South Dakota received 307 points in the poll.

    Under the direction of USD head coach Dawn Plitzuweit in her first season, the Coyotes wrapped up 2016-17 with a 23-9 record and advanced to the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Seven players return from last year’s squad including three starters in Arens, Duffy and junior guard Jaycee Bradley.

    Arens returns as an all-Summit League first team pick from a year ago. She finished third in the league for points per game (17.1), second for assists per game (3.8) and seventh for steals per game (1.7). Arens tallied 14 20-point games and 25 double-figure games during the season. A sharp shooter from the stripe, Arens broke the South Dakota program record for free throws in a game by going 18-of-20 against Denver. She finished 157-of-180 from the line on the season to help the Coyotes capture the NCAA’s Free Throw Shooting Percentage Award. Arens was voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and the Academic All-Summit League team last season.

    Duffy was voted the 2016-17 Summit League Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the Summit’s all-newcomer team last season. Duffy handled the point while averaging 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. She posted 20 double-digit games with three surpassing 20 points during the season. Duffy ranked ninth in the league for both assists per game and 3-pointers made. 

    South Dakota opens the season at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, on Nov. 10. The Coyotes then host Creighton at 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 for the home opener in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

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