South Dakota men win second NCC tournament title

South Dakota men win second NCC tournament title With its 87-72 victory over the 20th-ranked and fourth seeded Minnesota State Mavericks (23-7) in the Wells Fargo Finals Championship game the South Dakota men's basketball team (25-5) earned its second-ever North Central Conference Tournament title and second-straight NCAA Division II playoff berth March 5.

The game was played at the Lee and Helene Sapp Fieldhouse on the Nebraska-Omaha campus in front of a Coyote friendly 1,350 in attendance.

The Coyotes, which placed three players in double figures, outscored MSU, 48-33 in the second half, shooting 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from the field to lead by as many as 21 points in the second stanza.

Josh Mueller shot four three-pointers in the game which pushed him past Ben Ries (1996-00) for the career three-point mark at USD. Mueller now sits at 293, surpassing Ries at 290.

Only three Coyotes scored in the first half, led by junior Turner Trofholz who had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

For the game, USD shot 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the field, including 12-of-24 (50 percent) from three-point land. At the charity stripe, the Coyotes were 17-of-25 (68 percent) in the contest.

The Mavericks' shooting from three-point range sizzled in the second half after making 6-of-10 in the first half. MSU managed just three treys in the second half to finish at 43.5 percent (43.l5 percent) behind the arc. From the field, MSU was 27-of-59 (45.8 percent) and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the foul line.

Trofholz led all players in the game in both points and rebounds, collecting 28 points and a career-high 16 boards, despite USD being outrebounded, 35-34.

Mueller finished with 26 points, while fellow senior Luke Tibbetts scored a season-high 15 points. Freshman Dustin Little rounded out USD's scoring with nine points in 24 minutes of play.

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