Beaten by the buzzer

Beaten by the buzzer
The seventh-ranked South Dakota men's basketball team (5-1) was upset by long-time rival Morningside College (7-2), 83-82, on a buzzer beater in the 191st meeting between the two schools at the DakotaDome Dec. 5. The loss ended USD's 85-game regular season home non-conference winning streak that began in 1992.

After USD senior Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) made a pair of free throws with 1:55 left in the game to put the Coyotes up, 82-79, Morningside's Tom Regan hit a jumper at 1:17 to pull the Mustangs to within one.

On the ensuing possession, freshman Mitch Begeman (Sioux Falls), who came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 three's, missed the front end of a one and one, but Trofholz picked up the loose ball in the corner and was forced to call a timeout.

Surrounded by three players, Trofholz missed a tough shot under the basket after the timeout and the Mustangs came down with the ball. Morningside crossed mid-court and called a timeout with five seconds left to set up the final play.

Tightly guarded by redshirt freshman Jesse Becker (Plymouth, MN), Morningside's Matt Johnson forced a three-point attempt thatbounced off the backboard and into teammate Brad Schmit's hands. Falling down, Schmit banked the ball into the hoop as time expired.

After a brief discussion, the officials ruled the basket counted and the Coyotes were dealt their first loss of the season.

Becker, who in his first career start, led USD with a career-high 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point range. Trofholz scored more than 20 points for the third consecutive game and had his third double-double of the season with 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Sophomore Eric Hall (Huron) finished with 16 points, while Begeman came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 threes. Junior Darrick Leonard (Hazel Crest, IL) also added a career-high nine assists for the Coyotes.

The Coyotes were cold from long range in the first half, making just 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) behind the three-point line and 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) from the field, while the Mustangs were warmer. Morningside connected on 16-of-30 from the field in the first half and knocked down 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) behind the arc.

In the first half, Morningside took the lead, 14-12 on a pair of free throws by Tom Regan at the 13:59 mark then proceeded to go on a 14-2 run to the 8:22 mark, before Becker hit an unassisted jumper to cut the lead to 12, 28-16.

The Mustangs led by 15 at 2:12, but USD finished the half on a 7-0 run to cut the halftime margin to 41-33 in favor of the visitors.

The Coyotes tied the game for the third time on a three from Becker's hot hand at 10:09, to make the score 60-60. After a Mustang bucket, Becker hit another three to put USD up, 63-62 at 9:30.

Morningside slowly built the lead to four points, 73-69, at 6:35, but a 9-2 USD run fueled by two threes from Begeman and one from Becker gave the Coyotes a 78-75 advantage with 5:00 left to play.

Three-straight offensive rebounds led to another Becker bucket and a five-point lead, 80-75 at 3:23, but that was the last points USD garnered before Trofholz's free throws at 1:55.

For the game, USD shot 50 percent (31-of-62) from the field and finished at 42.4 percent (14-of-33) from three-point range. Both teams were knotted at 6-of-8 (75 percent) from the free throw line, as the Coyotes did not exceed their opponents free throw attempts for the first time this season.

Morningside, who was led by a game-high 29 points and eight rebounds from Schmit, shot 53.2 percent (33-of-62) from the field and was 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from downtown.

Tim Johnson added 20 points, while Regan and Jack Rother had 12 and 10, respectively, for the Mustangs.

USD will return to action on Friday, Dec. 9 in Wayne, NE, when they take on the Wayne State Wildcats at 8 p.m.

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