South Dakota defeats Fighting Sioux 78-65 South Dakota's Jimmie Foster battles with a NDSU defender while attempting a shot under the basket. Foster had a season high 22 points in Saturday's action in the DakotaDome. The South Dakota men's basketball team (12-3, 4-3 in the NCC), paced by 27 points from freshman guard Josh Mueller, turned back North Dakota (9-5, 4-2 in the NCC) in North Central Conference basketball on Friday night at the DakotaDome.
Mueller hit seven of 21 field goals, including five three-pointers and eight of 10 free throws to go with six rebounds, six assists and seven steals. Senior forward Jimmie Foster added 16 points and eight rebounds while sophomore forward Steve Anderson had 10 points and five rebounds. Foster hit seven of 14 field goals and Anderson was five of six from the field.
In moving their conference mark to 4-3, the Coyotes have now won eight of nine games at home this season and they are 2-1 at home in conference games. South Dakota has now won two of three games and increased their winning streak against North Dakota to six games.
After trading baskets early, the Coyotes opened up a 13-4 lead after Foster hit a three-point basket at the 14:53 mark of the first half. A jumper by senior guard Paul Marshall pushed the Coyotes' lead to 15-4 at the 14:24 mark. Two free throws by Mueller upped the margin to 19-6 at the 12:51 mark.
The Fighting Sioux shot their way back into the game. They outscored South Dakota, 16-4 to cut the lead to 26-24 at the 2:58 mark as junior center Jerome Beasley hit a jumper. The Coyotes answered with a three-pointer by senior forward Scott Hansen for a 29-24 lead with 2:36 to play.
Still, the Fighting Sioux kept charging and cut the lead to 31-28 on a jumper by Jeff Brandt at the 1:44 mark. On their next possession, Brandt struck again, this time from three-point range to tie the game, 31-31, with 1:07 to play in the half. Then, Anderson scored inside the give the Coyotes a 33-31 lead.
The second half belonged to Mueller, who scored 23 of his 27 points after the break. Gradually, the Coyotes built a second half lead. The Coyotes, led by Mueller, took off on a 22-2 run to grab a commanding lead, 71-48 with 6:31 to play. Mueller scored 11 points, including three three-point baskets and a lay-up, while senior forward Eric Hickenbottom had five points during the run. North Dakota cut the lead to 73-60 with 2:09 to play but that was as close as they would get in the second half.
Overall, the Coyotes made 29 of 65 field goals for 44.6 percent, including nine of 25 three-point baskets for 36 percent. They were 11 of 18 from the free throw line. Marshall added seven points and seven rebounds while Hickenbottom had seven points, three rebounds and two steals for South Dakota, which recorded 13 steals on the night. Hansen added six points and seven rebounds. South Dakota freshman center J.D. Roberts had six rebounds.