Coyote men roll past Midland South Dakota improved its men's basketeball record to 7-1 with wins over Midland Lutheran (96-56), Minnesota-Morris (93-52) and Doane (90-72) last Tuesday, Friday and Monday in the DakotaDome. The Coyotes host Montana State-Billings Saturday at 7:30 p.m. USD opens the North Central Conference schedule at home December 19-20 against Augustana and South Dakota State.
South Dakota was forced to rally from a 33-24 deficit with 6:42 left in the first half against Doane for a 47-39 halftime advantage. The Coyotes went on to outscore the Tigers, 43-33, in the second half for their fifth consecutive win. Both teams shot well with USD hitting 49.2 percent and Doane 50.0 percent. In the first half, the Tigers shot 64.0 percent and the Coyotes 53.3. Nathan Blessen led USD with a career-high 31 points. Jason Barrow had 12 points and Kory Petzenhauser had 10. Jeremy Kudera finished with eight points and eight rebounds, while Nate Tibbetts recorded nine points and nine assists.
The Coyotes shot 51.0 percent in their second win of the season over Minnesota-Morris. USD landed six players in double scoring figures led by Eric Rawson's 16 points. Kudera and Blessen had 14 points apiece, followed by 11 each for Barrow and Ben Ries and 10 for Anestis Tsakalaidis. USD, which scored 14 unanswered points to start the game, held a 41-28 advantage in rebounds led by Barrow with eight boards and Blessen with six. The Coyotes led at halftime, 40-29.
South Dakota shot 50.0 percent in its win over Midland Lutheran. The Coyotes, who led 45-23 at halftime, held the Warriors to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and USD enjoyed a 46-29 cushion in rebounds. Blessen paced the Coyotes with 17 points. Kudera had 16 points and Barrow had 12. Tibbetts and Ben Ries scored nine points apiece, while Tsakalaidis had eight. Kory Petzenhauser and Eric Hickenbottom added seven points apiece. Barrow pulled down seven rebounds with six each for Blessen and Tasakalaidis. Tibbetts recorded six assists and three steals.