Coyote men sneak away with 86-78 win over Morningside

Coyote men sneak away with 86-78 win over Morningside The Coyotes' Turner Trofholz pulls down a one-handed rebound during action against Morningside in the DakotaDome Dec. 16. He scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds on a perfect nine-of-nine shooting from the field and converted six-of-seven free throws. The South Dakota men's basketball team (9-0) completed their six-game homestand with a hard-fought 86-78 win over former North Central Conference foe Morningside (7-6), here at the DakotaDome.

USD allowed the Mustangs (formerly the Chiefs) to stay in the game by committing 16 turnovers, but pulled away thanks to converting six-of-six free throws in the final 41 seconds of the game.

The Coyotes were led by a pair of double-doubles from a pair of seniors, Josh Mueller (Hartford) and Steve Anderson (Rapid City). Mueller recorded a season-high 27 points and a season-high 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season, while Anderson had a pair of 10's, 10 points and 10 rebounds.

With a 15-point lead at the 7:17 mark in the first half, a blowout looked to be in order for USD, who went up 33-18 on a lay-up by Aaron Green (Indianapolis, IN). The Mustangs answered back with a 3-pointer by Jack Rother at 6:51, cutting the lead to 12. Paul Larson hit another 3-pointer for Morningside following a Coyote turnover to make it a 9-point game, 33-24, at 6:25.

The first half ended, 43-33, as there was no scoring in the final 1:19 of the half.

In the second half, the Coyotes climbed back to a 15-point lead, 60-45 on a pair of free throws by Mueller at 13:24, but the Mustangs went on a 8-0 run down to the 11:40 mark to make the score 60-53, capped by a 3-pointer by Eddie Ceaser. Ceaser finished with a team-high 26 points, including nine-of-10 from the free throw line.

As a team, the Coyotes shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field and connected on 7-of-23 from behind the 3-point line. At the charity stripe, the Coyotes made 19-of-26, after having just four attempts in the first half.

Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds on a perfect nine-of-nine shooting from the field and converted six-of-seven free throws. Green quietly chipped in 17 points, as just six Coyotes scored on the evening.

After being outrebounded 21 to 20 in the first frame, the Coyotes picked it up on the boards in the second half and finished with a 43 to 36 advantage.

Brad Schmit finished with 16 points for the Mustangs, while David Finklea added 10.

The Mustangs shot 40 percent (28-of-70) from the field and made 7-of-25 (28 percent) from 3-point land. At the line they converted 15-of-23 (65.2 percent).

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