Coyote men defeat Midland Lutheran

Coyote men defeat Midland Lutheran The eighth-ranked South Dakota men's basketball team cruised to a 105-86 win over Midland Lutheran in front of 1,130 fans Sunday evening at the DakotaDome. USD closed out the non-conference season with a perfect 11-0 record after the victory, while the Warriors dropped to 7-6.

Sophomore guard Josh Mueller directed the Coyotes to their 69th consecutive nonconference home victory and season-high 105 points with his third straight double-double. The Hartford native scored 11 points, handed out 11 assists and grabbed six rebounds in 28 minutes of play.

USD has now scored over 90 points in the past four games and has exceeded the 90-point barrier seven times this season. For the year, the Coyotes are averaging 93.8 points per contest.

In all, five Coyotes scored in double figures, led by senior Tommie King's 26-point performance. King, a native of Seattle, WA, was 10-of-14 from the field and perfect from the free-throw line on five attempts. He also pulled down eight boards.

Junior forward Derek Paben from Pickrell, NE, and sophomore guard Zach Fortune, originally of Bellevue, NE, both added 17 points a piece for South Dakota. Doug Hanson, a junior forward from Meckling, scored 12 points off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.

Midland Lutheran had four players in double figures and was led in scoring by junior forward Adam Lamprecht with 17 points.

The Coyotes jumped out to a 62-40 lead at halftime behind a 72.7 percent (24-of-33) shooting effort from the field, which included a 10-of-14 performance from beyond the 3 point line (71.4 percent).

Despite shooting just 42 percent from the field in the second half, USD ended the game with a season-high 56.3 (40-71) percent performance from the field.

The Coyotes also posted season highs in field goals made (40) and assists (30). South Dakota made 11 of 23 3 pointers and converted 14 of 16 from the free throw line, upping its team free throw shooting percentage to 82.7 percent (205-248).

South Dakota extended its halftime lead to as much as 29 points with 5:03 remaining in the game at 98-69, but the Warriors chipped away at the Coyote advantage, outscoring USD 17-7 in final five minutes of the game.

Midland Lutheran hit 30 of 69 field goals for 43.5 percent and also made 11 of 26 3 point shots for 42.3 percent. They converted 15 of 21 free throws for 71.4 percent.

USD won the rebound battle, 39-37.

The Coyotes opened North Central Conference play Thursday, Jan. 2, at the DakotaDome against North Dakota.

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