Coyotes upset SDSU 78-63 South Dakota's Josh Mueller (5) winces as he is fouled by SDSU's Calvin Melaney (40) while attempting a jump shot during Saturday night's action in the DakotaDome. Mueller and Derek Paben each poured in 18 points to help the Coyotes upset the Jacks. The South Dakota men's basketball team (19-9, 8-6 NCC) recorded a 78-63 victory over second-ranked South Dakota State (25-5, 9-5 NCC) Saturday night in front of a season-high 8,517 fans at the DakotaDome.
USD used an outstanding defensive performance to move to 8-6 in NCC play and wrap up a No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.
For the game, South Dakota held SDSU to just 33.8 percent shooting from the field (22-of-65) and 21.7 percent from the three-point line (5-of-23).
USD had a balanced scoring attack as senior Derek Paben and junior Josh Mueller (Hartford) each had 18 points. Paben (Pickrell, NE) had eight rebounds, while Mueller dished out nine assists.
Redshirt freshman Brock Seim (LeGrand, IA) came off the bench to score 14 points and pull down seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) added 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
Marquise Richardson was SDSU's lone player in double figures with 23 points and nine rebounds.
South Dakota, which started the game on an 8-0 run, opened up a 19-point, 38-19, lead with 6:31 to play in the first half thanks to a 14-0 scoring spurt. But the Jacks rebounded with a 16-4 run of their own, pulling within seven heading into the locker room at halftime, 42-35.
In the second half, South Dakota State was able to tie the game up at 49-49 and at 51-51, but could never get over the hump, as the Coyotes never trailed in the game.
A pair of Josh Cerveny free throws pulled SDSU back to within five at 68-63 with 4:12 to play in the game. South Dakota would hold the Jacks scoreless though over the game's final four minutes, outscoring SDSU 10-0 to close out the game.
USD, which shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half, finished the game at 43.3 percent shooting from the floor (26-of-60). The Coyotes took advantage of their foul shots, hitting 21-of-25 from the charity stripe (84.0 percent). SDSU outrebounded the Coyotes, 43-38.