South Dakota men upended by Southwest Minnesota State

South Dakota men upended by Southwest Minnesota State
The 18th-ranked South Dakota men's basketball team (11-3) dropped a 75-69 decision to the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs (7-4) despite 28 points from sophomore Eric Hall, which tied his career-high, at the R/A Facility in Marshall, MN, on Dec. 31.

Despite outshooting the Mustangs from both the field and three-point range, the Coyotes were limited to 11 free throw attempts (20 for SMSU) and were outrebounded, 44-27. Each team committed nine turnovers, while USD picked up seven steals.

USD senior All-American Turner Trofholz (Schuyler, NE) was held to a season-low 11 points as he and Hall were two of three Coyotes to score in double figures.

South Dakota built an eight-point lead, 28-20 at 6:39 in the first half, as Hall knocked down one of his seven three-pointers in the game. However, it was USD's last field goal of the half as SMSU went on a 16-0 run to finish out the half and take a 36-28 lead at intermission.

In the second half, the Mustangs built a 12-point lead, 56-44, at 9:27 on a Travis Krenske lay-up, but the Coyotes chipped at the lead and tied the game at 66-66 at the 1:59 mark on a three-pointer by redshirt freshman Colby Fitzgerald (Dell Rapids).

SMSU proceeded to score the next five points and hang on for the 75-69 win after making all four of its free throw attempts in the final 31 seconds.

The Coyotes finished the game shooting 44.4 percent (24-of-54) from the field and 38.9 percent (14-of-36) from three-point range. The 36 three-point attempts set an R/A Facility record for most three's in a game by a single team. USD finished 7-of-11 at the foul line for 63.6 percent.

Fitzgerald collected a career-high 14 points, which put him in double figures for the second-straight game for USD.

SMSU shot 42.6 percent (26-of-61) from the field, including 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from behind the three-point arc. At the foul line, the Mustangs made 17 of its 20 attempts for 85 percent.

The Mustangs were led by Chad Orum's career-high 18 points. Orum completed his second-straight double double with 10 rebounds. Matt Fletcher also added 18 points, while Travis Krenske and Undre Ellis added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

South Dakota returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. with its North Central Conference opener against Augustana at the Sioux Falls Arena.

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