Trofholz propels USD to win over William Penn

Trofholz propels USD to win over William Penn
The sixth-ranked South Dakota men's basketball team (7-1) had four players reach double figures, as the Coyotes posted an 82-62 win over the William Penn Statesmen (5-9) at the DakotaDome Dec. 11.

Senior All-American Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) scored 26 points for the third time this season, one point shy of his season-high, and the Coyotes received 31 points off the bench to win its fourth home non-conference game of the season.

William Penn scored the first two baskets of the game to take a 5-0 lead at 18:03. However, the Statesmen's lead held only until the 14:26 mark, when senior David Nour (Armour) knocked down three of his 10 points to put USD up, 11-10.

The two teams traded leads down to the 10:50 mark, when sophomore Dustin Little (Castlewood) hit a three-pointer to give the Coyotes the lead that would not be relinquished, 16-14.

The Coyotes first half lead peaked at 13, 38-25, on a free throw by freshman Rane Mergen (Dell Rapids) with 46 seconds left in the half.

In the second half, WPU cut the lead to single digits just once at 18:26, when Norman Prather scored two of his team-high 25 points on a jumper to make the USD lead nine, 41-32.

Sophomore Eric Hall (Huron) answered back with a three at 18:15 to put the lead back to 12 points, 44-32.

For much of the remaining 18:15, the teams traded baskets, but the Coyotes eventually built its lead to the final margin of 20 on another free throw by Mergen with one second left in the game.

As a team, USD shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field and 28 percent (7-of-25) from three-point range. At the line, the Coyotes made 8-of-9 in the first half and finished at 19-of-28 (67.9 percent).

Freshman Jesse Becker (Plymouth, MN) finished with 13 for the Coyotes, while Little scored 11.

Three players had nine rebounds for USD, but WPU won the rebounding battle, 43-42.

The Statesmen were held to 36.6 percent (26-of-71) shooting from the field and were 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) behind the three-point arc. WPU made good on 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) free throws.

In addition to his 25 points, Prather finished with a game-high 15 rebounds, while Travis Cox scored 11.

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