Regis falls to Coyotes 79-40; Kudera nets 20

Regis falls to Coyotes 79-40; Kudera nets 20 The No. 9 ranked University of South Dakota men's basketball team rebounded from their first loss of the season Friday night in a big way at the Hardee's/Coca-Cola Classic Saturday afternoon.

USD (5-1) rolled to a 79-40 non-conference win over No. 21 ranked Regis University as senior forward Jeremy Kudera scored 20 points, including six of eight 3-point baskets.

Four USD players scored in double figures as the Coyotes recorded their 31st win in their last 32 non-conference games. The Coyotes finished the game on a 28-2 run and scored the game's final 11 points.

Aside from Kudera, junior forward Jimmie Foster had 17 points and six rebounds while Jason Barrow had 14 points, three steals and three rebounds. Junior guard Eric Hickenbottom had 12 points as he hit five of six field goals and two 3-pointers. Senior guard Nate Tibbetts had 5 points, three rebounds, nine assists and two steals.

"It is nice to come back and respond the way we did. We came out and had fun tonight, and did what we know how to do, and that is win basketball games," said Kudera in a post-game interview.

USD made 13 of 25 (.520) field goals in rolling to a 39-23 first-half lead. Regis' only lead of the game came on the opening possession on a 3-point basket by Michael Carter at the 19:41 mark.

Consecutive 3-point baskets by Barrow gave USD a 6-3 lead at the 18:43 mark. After the teams exchanged baskets, a 3-point play by Foster and a 3-point basket by Kudera opened up a 16-10 lead at the 14:26 mark of the opening half. Freshman Richard Ross hit a jumper to give the Coyotes a 22-12 lead at the 10:19 mark.

During the next several minutes the Coyotes outscored Regis 17-5 to take a 39-17 lead with 3:39 to play. Key plays during the run were a pair of 3-pointers by Hickenbottom and a 3-point basket by Kudera.

Regis scored the final 6 points of the half but still trailed 39-23 at the break.

During the first half, the Coyotes hit seven of 11 (.636) 3-point baskets. Barrow, Foster and Kudera each had 9 points and Hickenbottom had 8 in the opening stanza.

Regis made a run at USD in the first six minutes of the second half, cutting the margin to 42-30 on a 3-point basket by Carter with 14:37 to play. The Coyotes answered with jumpers by Kudera and Hickenbottom for a 46-30 lead at the 13:29 mark. Then USD took off on a 20-7 run to grab a 66-37 lead with 6:46 to play and in doing so, put the game away.

"We played a lot better today," said Coyote head coach Dave Boots. "We made a couple of changes, and a lot of players stepped up and played very well. Kudera, Jason Barrow and Jimmie Foster really had good games. As poorly as we played last night, to come back like we did is a great effort. I thought we had a lot of energy today. Richard Ross came in and energized us in the first half with two steals. We got good play from our bench, and that was important."

The Coyotes knocked down 29 of 55 (.527) field goals, including 13 of 23 (.565) 3-point baskets. The Coyotes made eight of 12 (.667) free throws. Both teams had 31 rebounds.

USD, who had 20 turnovers in a 75-66 loss to Southwest State Friday night, committed just nine turnovers and forced Regis into 22 miscues. The Coyotes had 13 steals.

Randall Nelson led Regis with 12 points, and Michael Carter had 10 points. Regis made 16 of 47 (.340) field goals, seven of 17 (.412) 3-point baskets and one of four (.250) free throws.

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