Coyotes record 73-71 win over Minnesota-Duluth

Coyotes record 73-71 win over Minnesota-Duluth
All-American forward Turner Trofholz scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the South Dakota men's basketball team (14-5, 2-2 NCC) to a 73-71 win Jan. 21 over Minnesota-Duluth (10-10, 1-4 NCC) in North Central Conference action at the DakotaDome.

With the win, USD improved to 8-1 at the DakotaDome, including 2-0 at home in NCC play in the 2005-06 season. The Coyotes own a 2-2 record in the NCC this season.

Trofholz of Schuyler, NE, hit 8-of-12 shots from the field and was perfect at the foul stripe by converting all six of his free throw attempts. Trofholz scored in double figures for the 53rd straight game and 80th time overall in his career. USD sophomore forward Eric Hall of Huron, added 18 points and eight rebounds. Hall knocked down three, three-point baskets and made 7-of-10 shots from the foul line.

USD also received a career-high 10 points and six rebounds from freshman Rane Mergen of Dell Rapids, and sophomore guard Dustin Little of Castlewood, also had 10 points and five rebounds. For the game, USD made 23-of-47 field goals for 48.9 percent, including 9-of-23 three-point shots for 39.1 percent. The Coyotes also converted 18-of-23 free throws.

The Bulldogs had four players in double figures, including Jordan Nuness, who had 17 points. Bryan Foss added 15 points and five rebounds while John Vaudreuil provided 13 points. John Everson had 12 points, including four, three-point baskets. Guard Sean Seaman scored six points and dished out 11 assists for the Bulldogs.

Overall, UMD hit 26-of-58 field goals for 44.8 percent, including 10-of-25 three-point field goals for 40 percent. The Bulldogs made 9-of-9 free throws and won the rebound battle, 30-29.

USD jumped to a quick 5-0 lead as Hall hit a three-pointer (19:15) and Trofholz scored inside at the 17:56 mark. A pair of foul shots by Trofholz built USD's lead to 10-2. Foss scored inside at the 13:05 mark to cut the Coyotes' lead to 13-9. A foul shot by Mergen increased USD's advantage to 16-9 at the 12:47 mark of the first half. UMD outscored USD, 13-6, to forge a 22-22 tie with 10:06 left in the half. USD rebounded with a 6-0 run to gain a 28-22 lead at the 7:34 mark following a pair of foul shots by Hall.

Later, a three-point shot by Jesse Becker of Plymouth, MN, gave USD a 40-31 lead at the 3:08 mark of the first half. However, UMD responded with a 9-4 run to close the gap to 44-40 at halftime. Trofholz scored 12 points and Hall had nine to lead USD in the opening half. USD hit 56 percent from the field on 14-of-25 shooting. UMD, which received 15 points from Nuness in the opening half, made 14-of-30 field goals for 46.7 percent.

Early in the second half a lay-up by Mergen helped South Dakota gain a 52-42 lead at the 16:22 mark. Then, things turned for UMD, who outscored USD, 12-2, to tie the game at 54-54 with 12:48 to play in the game.

Later, Trofholz scored inside to provide the Coyotes with a 62-59 lead at the 8:57 mark. Once again, UMD ramped up its offense and outscored the Coyotes, 9-0, to take a 68-62 lead at the 5:28 mark after Foss hit a jumper. From that point, USD outscored UMD, 11-3, over the last 5:28 to pick up its 14th win in 19 starts.

USD cut the lead to 68-66 when Little hit a pair of free throws at the 4:38 mark. At the 1:01 mark, Becker's three-point shot provided USD with a 69-68 lead. After the Coyotes' defense stopped UMD, Hall made a pair of free throws with 43 seconds to play and to give USD a 71-68 lead. Then, Hall made two more free throws with 14 seconds left for a 73-68 lead. However, UMD received a three-pointer from Vaudreuil to cut the lead to 73-71 with two seconds left in the game. UMD immediately fouled Hall, who missed the free throw but grabbed the rebound to seal USD's second NCC win in four tries this season.

Next for South Dakota will be a home date with NCC leader Minnesota State, Mankato at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the DakotaDome.

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