Marshall contributes to Coyote victory

Marshall contributes to Coyote victory The University of South Dakota men's basketball team (11-2, 5-1 NCC) received a 33-point performance from guard Paul Marshall as the Coyotes turned back Nebraska-Omaha 83-70 in North Central Conference action in the DakotaDome.

The victory was the Coyotes' seventh straight at home this season. With the win, USD remained in second place in the NCC with a 5-1 mark.

On a night when the Coyotes struggled at times at both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, it was Marshall who came to the rescue. The 6'1" junior had his best night as a Coyote. He made nine of 20 field goals and was seven of 15 from 3-point range, also converting eight of 11 free throws for his 33 points. Junior forward Jimmie Foster had 22 points and seven rebounds. It was his 10th double-figure game and his sixth straight. Foster made seven of 10 field goals and eight of nine free throws on the night.

USD jumped to a quick start, grabbing a 14-4 lead at the 16:17 mark after a 3-point basket by senior forward Jeremy Kudera. During that run, the Coyotes received 6 points from Foster and 5 points from Marshall. Nebraska-Omaha fought back to 14-8 when Seth Nelson converted a layup.

The Mavericks' Dan Morrow hit a 3-pointer to draw Nebraska-Omaha within 19-17. But then the Coyotes took off on a 10-0 run to grab a 29-17 lead with 9:25 to play in the opening half. Marshall had a pair of 3-point baskets in the run.

A layup by Nebraska-Omaha's Eddie King cut the Mavericks' deficit to 29-23 mark before the Coyotes ended the half on a scoring flurry. The Coyotes outscored Nebraska-Omaha 12-5 in the final five minutes to grab a 42-28 halftime lead.

In the opening half, USD hit 14 of 25 first half field goals and seven of 14 3-pointers. Marshall had four 3-point goals and 17 points in the opening half. Foster had 11 points. The Mavericks hit 12 of 27 field goals and just two of eight 3-point shots. Nelson led the Mavericks in the opening half with 10 points.

However, the Coyotes could not hold the huge halftime lead. A jumper by Nebraska-Omaha's Eric Allen pulled the visitors within 47-41 at the 15:24 mark, but that was the closest Nebraska-Omaha could get.

USD responded with 5 quick points, including a 3-pointer by Marshall and a layup by senior center Jason Barrow, for a 52-41 lead. Then the lead grew to 57-44 when junior forward Eric Hickenbottom scored a layup and converted the free throw after being fouled.

The Coyotes increased the margin to 63-44 after Foster converted a pair of free throws. Nebraska-Omaha tried to make a charge, but USD stalled each effort.

At the 8:20 mark, King had a dunk to close the gap to 63-50, but Foster scored on a tip-in for a 65-50 lead. After Nelson hit a pair of free throws, the Mavericks pulled to within 67-54 with 6:14 to play, but the Coyotes continued to answer on the offensive end.

In the second half, both teams struggled through some rugged play but the margin shifted very little. The teams traded baskets for the next couple of minutes before a pair of Nelson free throws moved the Mavericks to within 75-63. The Mavericks pulled within 11 points on a jumper by Nelson. Two foul shots by Kudera with ten seconds to play were the final scoring on the night.

Overall, the Coyotes hit 25 of 51 field goals and 10 of 21 (.476) from 3-point range. The Coyotes converted 23 of 31 free throws. Kudera had a solid night with 10 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Senior point guard Nate Tibbetts continued to distribute the ball effectively with a season-high 12 assists. He now has 575 assists in his career.

The Mavericks hit 26 of 61 field goals and five of 18 (.278) from 3-point range. They hit 13 of 18 free throws. Nelson, who had 28 points, five rebounds, five steals, four assists and two blocked shots, led the Mavericks. Forward Tota Dada had 17 points and six rebounds while King had 13 points and eight rebounds.

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