Foster’s 30 points leads to USD win over Bears

Foster's 30 points leads to USD win over Bears Junior forward Jimmie Foster had his best night as a Coyote as he scored 30 points to lead The University of South Dakota men's basketball teamto a 80-74 win over Northern Colorado in North Central Conference basketball in the DakotaDome Friday night.

For the two-time defending North Central Conference champions, the win was not without a few tense moments as Northern Colorado rallied from a 16-point deficit to make the game close in the second half. But Foster stepped up late in the game, as the Coyotes stayed unbeaten at home.

Foster made 11 of 14 field goals, including a 3-point basket in the closing minutes. He also made seven of nine free throws and pulled down six rebounds. His inside play coupled with that of senior center Jason Barrow proved important in the game. Barrow, who made seven of 12 field goals and seven of 10 free throws, had 21 points and eight rebounds.

The Coyotes jumped out quickly and led 6-0 at the 17:57 mark on a layup by Barrow. The lead moved to 13-2 when Foster scored inside at the 15:14 mark of the opening half.

Then junior guard Paul Marshall, who had 6 points on the night, hit a 3-point basket for a 20-11 lead. A free throw by senior forward Jeremy Kudera gave the Coyotes a 23-11 lead at the 9:36 mark. After the Bears' Matt Murray, who had 19 points, knocked home a 3-point basket to draw Northern Colorado within 27-21, the Coyotes closed with a late flurry to grab a 41-27 halftime lead.

USD went on a 14-6 run, keyed by Barrow's 6 points in the final five minutes of the opening half.

Northern Colorado opened the second half by outscoring the Coyotes 18-7 to draw within 48-45 at the 12:41 mark after Tim Graham converted a layup. Two free throws by Kudera moved the lead back to 5 points, and Foster scored inside to give USD a 52-45 advantage. The Bears continued to claw back and moved to within 55-52 on a layup by Brian Jamros.

Kudera answered with a 3-point basket, but the Bear's Reggie York scored inside to draw Northern Colorado to within 58-54. A basket and free throw by York pulled the Bears closer at 60-57, and, when Murray hit a jumper, the Coyotes' margin was just one at 60-59 with 6:15 left in the second half.

Then Foster made several big plays on the offensive end. He hit a pair of free throws to give the Coyotes a 62-59 lead and then converted an inside basket for a 67-63 Coyote lead. At the 2:46 mark, Foster hit a 3-point basket, and Kudera hit another long-range basket as the Coyotes gained a 73-65 lead.

Two free throws by Foster and a layup by Barrow gave the Coyotes a 77-68 lead. A 3-point basket by the Bears' Kevin Knudson with 15 seconds left was the game's final points.

Kudera added 11 points and seven rebounds while senior point guard Nate Tibbetts had 8 points, nine assists, two steals and a blocked shot. The Coyotes had five steals and six blocked shots on the night.

The Bears received 17 points from Michael Morse and 10 points from Knudson. Northern Colorado held a 34-30 rebound edge over USD.

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