With the win, the Coyotes improved to 6-1 on the season, which is USD's best start to a season since opening 9-0 in 2002-03. The College of St. Mary dropped to 2-6 on the season.
Carda, a sophomore from Beresford, hit 7-of-11 field goals and 4-of-6 free throws for 18 points in just 17 minutes of action. She also had five rebounds, two steals, an assist and a blocked shot.
The twin sister tandem of Jeana and Jenna Hoffman (Mitchell) both reached double figures for the Coyotes. Jeana's line was 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. She made three, three-point baskets. Jenna also scored 13 points with six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Bridget Yoerger (Hinton, IA) had a team-high eight rebounds while freshman Jasmine Mosley (Bellevue, NE) had six rebounds and five points. Junior forward Ashley Robinette (South Sioux City, NE) chipped in with eight points and four rebounds.
Katie Homan led the College of St. Mary with 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Katie Jo Lawton also scored in double figures with 12 points for St. Mary.
South Dakota jumped to a quick 15-6 lead at the 13:55 mark of the first half after a jumper by Jenna Hoffman. After St. Mary cut the lead to 15-9 (12:47), the Coyotes took off on a 9-4 run for a 26-13 lead at the 9:48 mark. St. Mary went on an 8-2 run to creep within 28-21 at the 5:03 mark. USD rebuilt the lead to 39-23 at the 1:11 mark after a lay-up by Jeana Hoffman. The Coyotes took a 39-27 lead to the halftime break. Carda led the Coyotes with 11 points while Jeana Hoffman had 10 points in the first half. Homan scored 10 points for St. Mary.
St. Mary cut USD's margin to 39-36 (16:52) with a 7-0 run to start the second half. Then, the Coyotes gradually re-asserted control moving up 49-37 on a lay-up and foul shot conversion by Jenna Hoffman. A three-pointer by Robinette provided USD with a 57-39 lead at the 11:02 mark of the second half. Carda scored three straight times inside to give USD a 64-42 lead at the 7:36 mark of the second stanza. A three-pointer by Jenna Hoffman gave USD a 72-43 lead with 3:56 left in the game. Two foul shots by freshman Kara Iverson (Yankton) with 10 seconds to play provided USD with its final margin of 81-54.
Next for the Coyotes is a home game with Mount Marty at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10 at the DakotaDome.