Coyotes earn second seed in NCC Tournament With its 72-58 win over the St. Cloud State Huskies (20-7, 7-5 NCC) at Halenbeck Hall Feb. 26 in St. Cloud, MN, the South Dakota men's basketball team (22-5, 8-4 NCC) finishes as the runner-up in the North Central Conference and earned the second seed in the Wells Fargo NCC Tournament.
The Coyotes, who held its opponent to under 70 points for the fifth straight time, got on the Huskies early, jumping out to an 11-2 lead at the 17:42 mark on three of junior David Nour's 11 points.
The Huskies scored the next seven points to get within two points, 11-9, the closest they would get in the game at the 15:25 mark in the first half.
USD then garnered two 14-point leads in the first half, their last was 41-27 at 2:13, on a jumper Turner Trofholz. Trofholz finished with his sixth double-double of the season with 27 points and 12 rebounds. It was the 13th time this season that the All-American candidate finished with more than 20 points in a game.
Senior Josh Mueller scored 14 points in the first half and finished with 19.
The Coyotes, who had a 40-18 advantage in points in the paint for the game, finished with a 41-29 lead at halftime before garnering a 16-point lead, 72-56, on a pair of free throws by freshman Eric Hall with 47 seconds left in the game.
Hall ended with five points and a career-high seven rebounds, as USD won the rebounding contest, 38-33. Senior Luke Tibbetts added eight points and a career-high nine rebounds.
As a team, USD shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field and 40 percent (8-of-20) behind the three-point line. At the free throw line, the Coyotes were 4-of-5 (80 percent).
In comparison, St. Cloud State shot 36.9 percent (24-of-65) from the field and was 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) from downtown.
Nate Miller led the Huskies with 17 points, while Brad Evans and Steve Trull added 13 and 11, respectively. Trull added 11 rebounds for SCSU.