M'side stops USD's win streak; Coyotes to host MSU, SCSU South Dakota was held to 40.4 percent shooting from the field en route to an 85-80 loss to Morningside last Saturday in the DakotaDome. The Coyotes fell to 19-4 overall and 11-3 in the North Central Conference. Despite the setback, USD remains in first-place in the league two games ahead of second-place North Dakota (9-5). The Coyotes host Minnesota State and St. Cloud State this Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, North Dakota and North Dakota State host South Dakota State and Augustana.
The Coyotes, who saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end, were held to 38.7 percent shooting in the second half. The team's overall percentage was the second-lowest of the season. USD shot 37.7 percent in its loss to Wayne State in the third game of the season during the Quad State Classic. Morningside hit 44.4 percent from the floor. The Coyotes and Mustangs each had 39 rebounds.
South Dakota, which committed 15 turnovers in the game, led throughout much of the first half. Morningside tied the game for the fourth time at 28-28 at the 6:39 mark and from that point the Mustangs went on a run taking a nine-point spread at 39-30 with 2:54 left in the half. The Coyotes answered and cut the deficit to 41-37 at halftime. Morningside never trailed in the second half. USD tied the game at 43-43 early in the period, but the Mustangs continually pushed ahead and assumed a double-digit lead at 69-59 on consecutive three-pointers with 5:28 remaining.
Ben Ries, who scored eight points in the first half, finished with a team-high 24 points on six three-point field goals and six of seven free throws. Jason Barrow, who led the Coyotes with 15 first-half points, ended up scoring 19 for the game and he led all players with 15 rebounds. Joey James had 12 points, while Kory Petzenhauser tallied 10 all in the second half. Jeremy Kudera and Nathan Blessen added nine and six points, respectively. Kudera was in double figures in rebounds for the fourth time with 10.