Coyotes fall to North Dakota schools; at Morningside Sat. South Dakota saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end last weekend with an 86-83 loss to North Dakota Friday and a 105-101 overtime setback to North Dakota State Saturday. The Coyotes, who entered last week ranked No. 2 in the region and No. 9 in the NABC Division II poll, fell to 12-3 overall and 4-2 in the NCC. USD is at Morningside this Saturday, followed by road games at St. Cloud State and Minnesota State January 22-23. The next home game for USD is January 29 against Nebraska-Omaha.
The Coyotes shot 52.1 percent against North Dakota and USD outrebounded the Sioux, 31-29. However, the Coyotes missed 13 free throws going 28-for-41.
North Dakota took a 42-41 halftime lead despite the fact the Coyotes shot 59.1 percent. The game was tied seven times during the first 20 minutes with the last time at 38-38 after the Coyotes rallied from a 38-32 deficit. Nate Tibbetts pulled USD to within one as the half ended on a three-point field goal. In the second half the Coyotes opened up a 62-57 advantage at the 12:13 mark, but North Dakota answered with its own five-point margin at 70-65 with 8:13 showing. The Sioux continued to hold the lead until the Coyotes moved on top, 80-79, with 1:18 left. North Dakota was then fouled on a three-point field goal attempt and the three free throws put the Sioux ahead for good at 82-80 with 1:04 remaining. In the second half, USD shot 46.2 percent from the field and North Dakota hit 53.8 percent.
The Coyotes had five players in double scoring figures led by Jeremy Kudera with 15 points. Tibbetts had 14 points, followed by Nathan Blessen with 13 and 12 apiece for Jason Barrow and Anestis Tsakalaidis. Kudera and Barrow had seven rebounds apiece.
South Dakota again shot well in the North Dakota State game going 38 of 71 from the floor for 53.5 percent. The Bison, who improved to 5-0 in the NCC, shot 52.6 percent. The Coyotes hit 65.2 percent of their shots in the first half and still trailed at intermission, 41-38.
USD, which was 18 of 28 from the free throw line, fell behind by 11 points in the second half at 54-43 with 12:57 remaining. The Coyotes rallied and went on a 21-9 scoring run for a 64-63 lead at the 4:30 mark. However, the Bison came back and took the lead and held an 80-77 margin with five seconds left. USD, though, forced overtime on a three-pointer by Ben Ries. In the extra session the Bison took a quick 82-80 lead and they never trailed. NDSU's biggest margin was eight points at 93-85 with 2:08 left. The Coyotes cut the deficit to one point twice with the last time at 99-98 with 21seconds remaining. The Bison held off the Coyotes with free throws going 8-for-8 during the final 30 seconds. In the overtime, NDSU was 17 of 23 from the free throw line and 36 of 50 for the game.
Blessen paced the Coyotes with 30 points. Kudera had 17 points and a team-high 14 rebounds. Ries had 14 points, followed by Barrow with 11 and Tsakalaidis with 10. USD was outrebounded, 41-32.