DU women’s basketball (11-14, 5-7 Summit League) shocked the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits on the road Thursday night in Brookings, S.D., 72-62. The Pioneers had not defeated the Jackrabbits in five years of conference play. The road win was directed by Associate Head Coach Kayla Ard.
The Pioneers were led by Madison Nelson’s 27 points along with Uju Ezeudu’s 7 points, 4 steals and 10 rebounds.
— Denver Women's Hoops (@DU_WHoops) February 14, 2020
Head coach Jim Turgeon was placed on administrative leave mid-January by DU Athletics. Since that time, his top assistant, Kayla Ard, has guided the Pioneers to a 3-3 record. The team was 8-12 and 2-5 in the Summit League before Turgeon was placed on administrative leave. DU did not issue a formal announcement when the move was made but would confirm the change when asked. No cause has been provided for the administrative leave and no time given if and when he would return.
Turgeon took the reins of a struggling program two and a half years ago and quickly improved on the five disastrous seasons engineered by his predecessor, Kerry Cremeans. In his first season, the Crimson & Gold went 16-14 with a 7-7 Summit League conference record. In his second year, Denver took another step forward as it posted an 18-14 record, the most wins the program has earned as a member of the Summit League. DU also earned a berth in the WNIT, while garnering the first-ever postseason win in program history with an 83-75 victory over New Mexico in the opening round.
Denver women’s basketball was selected to finish third this season by conference coaches in the Summit League preseason poll. DU is currently mired in 7th place. South Dakota (10-2) now sits in second place behind nationally-ranked South Dakota (12-0).
Photo: Courtesy of Jackrabbit Athletics