Coyote men defeat North Dakota, 81-64, in NCC home opener

Coyote men defeat North Dakota, 81-64, in NCC home opener
The South Dakota men's basketball team (13-4, 1-1 NCC) evened its North Central Conference record at 1-1 with an 81-64 drubbing of its north-border rival North Dakota (10-7, 2-1 NCC) in front of 2,992 at the DakotaDome on Jan. 14.

The Coyotes used their usual hot shooting and stifled North Dakota with their zone defense to pick up their third consecutive win over UND. USD was also helped by four players scoring in double figures, including 21-point performances from senior All- American Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) and sophomore Eric Hall (Huron). Trofholz also added a game-high 11 rebounds to garner his 10th double double of the season.

The contest was tied just twice, but South Dakota never trailed in the game.

Redshirt freshman Jesse Becker (Plymouth, MN) came off the bench and scored 11 of his 16 points by the 8:37 mark in the first half. Becker capped his quick scoring run as he took the ball to the basket after a steal and scored to give the Coyotes a 21-13 lead.

USD then upped its lead to 15, 37-22, at 1:11, when Hall knocked down a pair of free throws. The Coyotes went into the locker with a 39-24 lead after Trofholz made lay-up with three seconds remaining in the half.

In the second half, South Dakota continued its pace and kept UND at arm's length as USD made its largest lead 25, 72-47, on a Trofholz bucket at 6:22.

For the game, USD shot 52.6 percent (30-of-57) from the field and made 40.7 percent (11-of-27) beyond the three-point arc. At the foul line, the Coyotes were 10-of-15 (66.7 percent). As a team, USD dished out 25 assists, collected eight steals and was guilty of nine turnovers.

Sophomore Dustin Little (Castlewood) added 14 points, while junior Darrick Leonard (Hazel Crest, IL) handed out eight assists in 37 minutes of play.

North Dakota shot 39.7 percent (25-of-63) from the field, including 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from three-point range. UND, who outrebounded the Coyotes, 44-32, connected on 62.5 percent (10-of-16) of its free throws. North Dakota turned the ball over 12 times, which led to 26 points for USD.

Jimmy Hoy led UND with 13 points, while Caro Nobles added 11.

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