Coyotes hold off Wayne State in Quad State Classic action In a battle of pre-season ranked teams, South Dakota edged Wayne State, 66-64, Friday in the Quad State Classic held Friday in Sioux City.
The Coyotes, ranked No. 18 in the Division II Bulletin, took a 10-point lead at 64-54 with 2:59 left in the game. The Wildcats, ranked No. 13 by Blue Ribbon College Yearbook, cut the deficit to 64-63 with 23 seconds showing. Nathan Blessen gave the Coyotes a three-point lead with a pair of free throws and the charity tosses proved enough as USD withstood three missed field goal attempts by the Wildcats as time expired.
South Dakota shot 52.1 percent for the game, while holding Wayne State to 43.9 percent. Both teams made 25 field goals and seven three-pointers. USD connected on two more free throws.
The Coyotes, who led by 11 points at 41-30 at the 14:57 mark, were sparked by Blessen's 20 points. USD trailed early in the game with the biggest deficit being 15-5 with 12:40 left in the first half. The Coyotes then went on a 31-10 scoring run for a 36-25 halftime cushion. USD's rally was fueled by Ben Ries, who nailed four three-pointers during the final nine minutes. Ries finished the game with 19 points and six three-pointers which increased his career total to 208 � third-best in school history.
Jason Barrow and Jeremy Kudera had seven points apiece, with four each for Lamarr Butler-Parker and Eric Hickenbottom. USD held a 33-32 advantage in rebounds led by Nate Tibbetts, Blessen and Kudera with seven apiece.