Second half shooting leads to Coyote win The South Dakota men's basketball team (22-9) used a 69.6 percent shooting performance in the second half to record an 82-71 victory over Nebraska-Omaha in the first round of the NCAA Division II North Central Regional Saturday afternoon in Denver, CO.
USD rebounded from a season-low 24 points in the first half, to hit 16-of-23 field goals and connect on 22-of-23 free throws (95.7 percent) in the second half.
The Coyotes were led by sophomore Turner Trofholz, who scored 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor. The Schuyler, NE, native also pulled down seven rebounds and had three steals.
Junior Josh Mueller (Hartford) scored 17 points, to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in 33 minutes of action.
South Dakota trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, as Nebraska-Omaha took a 33-24 lead into the locker room at halftime. With 17:13 to play in the second half, UNO's Randy Bland scored a bucket to put the Mavericks up 40-30.
USD responded with a 13-0 run over the next four minutes, capped by a Mueller three-pointer with 13:45 to play to give the Coyotes a 43-40 lead.
Nebraska-Omaha tied the game back up at 45-45 with a Ty Graham free-throw, but South Dakota again answered, this time with a 14-4 scoring spurt that put USD up 59-49 with 7:38 to play.
The Mavericks would get no closer than eight points over the final 7:38, as the Coyotes converted on 17-of-18 free throws down the stretch to improve to 19-1 this season when they score 80 points or more.
Junior center Steve Anderson (Rapid City) scored a season-high 12 points for USD in 37 minutes of action.
Senior forward Tommie King (Seattle, WA) added 15 points and four assists, while senior forward Derek Paben rounded out USD's five players in double figures with 13 points.
Nebraska-Omaha was led in scoring by Tola Dada, who had 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
For the game, South Dakota shot 52.1 percent from the floor (25-of-48), but hit just 4-of-14 three-point attempts (28.6 percent). From the charity stripe, the Coyotes were 28-of-32 for 87.5 percent. UNO shot 50.8 percent from the field (30-of-59) and 28.0 percent beyond the arc (7-of-25). USD outrebounded the Mavericks, 28-27.
With the win, South Dakota moved on to play No. 2 seed Nebraska-Kearney Sunday.