Mueller sets all-time career assists record

Mueller sets all-time career assists record Behind a record-breaking performance from senior Josh Mueller (Hartford), the South Dakota men's basketball team (5-0) picked up a 76-62 victory over Minnesota State-Moorhead (3-5) on the final day of the South Dakota Classic, in the DakotaDome Dec. 4.

Mueller broke the all-time career assists mark at USD with six on the night to move him one ahead of Nate Tibbetts (1997-01) mark of 678.

It was not an easy going for the Coyotes, especially in the first half, as they had to play catch-up at times.

Mueller got his first assist of the night as he fed Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) for the first basket of the game at 19:38, giving USD a 2-0 lead.

The Dragons answered back on a Ridas Globys jumper at 19:04. MSU-Moorhead would lead until 11:53 when the Coyotes went up by one on a David Nour (Armour) three-pointer at 11:53. The Dragons had an answer for that also in the form of a Blake Strouth lay-up following a USD turnover.

MSU-Moorhead kept that lead until the 2:25 mark when Mueller tied the game at 28-28 on a lay-up off a Nour steal at 2:02. The half ended, 35-33, with the Coyotes on top.

In the second half, the Dragons scored six quick points to take a 37-35 lead, at 18:58, however, it would be their last of the game.

Trofholz hit a bucket at 18:42 to tie the game at 37-37, then Mueller hit Steve Anderson (Rapid City) for a lay-up at 17:36 to put the Coyotes up 39-37.

USD slowly pulled away and led by as many as the final margin, 14.

Mueller's record-breaking assist came on a perfectly executed alley-oop to Anderson with 56 seconds left in the game to give the Coyotes the final score of the game, 76-62.

Trofholz led all players with 21 points and was one of three Coyotes with a game-high six rebounds. Mueller finished with 16 points, including 10-of-11 free throws.

Luke Tibbetts (Sioux Falls) contributed 12 points and played a great defensive game for USD. Anderson was the fourth Coyote in double figures, scoring 11.

As a team, USD shot 50 percent from the field (22-of-44) and made a season-high 30 free throws on 38 attempts (78.9 percent) thanks to 24 fouls on MSU-Moorhead. It was however, another cold shooting night from three-point land as the Coyotes made just 2-of-14 (14.3 percent). USD did win the rebounding battle, 33-28.

The Dragons were paced by 18 from Chris Anderson and 11 from Globys.

MSU-Moorhead shot 44.4 percent (24-of-54) as a team and converted 36.8 percent (7-of-19) from behind the arc. They had just 11 trips to the free throw line and made seven of those attempts (63.6 percent).

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