USD men’s basketball stops North Dakota, 79-74

USD men's basketball stops North Dakota, 79-74
The South Dakota men's basketball team (17-8, 5-5 NCC) snapped its five-game road losing streak with a 79-74 league win over rival North Dakota (12-12, 3-6 NCC) behind Turner Trofholz's 27 points and 11 rebounds in Grand Forks Feb. 16.

The game, which saw the score tied 15 times and the lead change on 17 occasions, was as back and forth as could be.

Trofholz was virtually unstoppable in the paint as he was 11-of-19 from the field and 5-of-6 at the foul line before finishing with his 13th double double of the season and 27th of his career. It was the 40th time of his career that he has scored 20 or more points in a game.

The first half was played tightly, as the two teams exchanged leads throughout the period. The Coyotes did build a five-point lead, 17-12, at 12:32, on a three-point play by freshman Mitch Begeman (Sioux Falls), but that was the largest advantage for any team in the half.

UND answered with a 6-0 run of its own to take a one-point lead, 18-17, on a pair of free throws by Caro Nobles at 10:56, but North Dakota led by no more than four points in the half, as the Coyotes always had an answer.

The teams continued to go back and forth before heading to the break tied, 39-39.

The second half was much of the same.

North Dakota snuck ahead by five, 53-48, on a jumper by Jimmy Hoy at the 13:44 mark. After three-pointer by Adam Jacobson at the 9:13 mark that gave UND a 60-57 lead, sophomore Dustin Little (Castlewood) converted a three-point play and redshirt freshman Jesse Becker (Plymouth, MN) made a pair of free throws to put USD back up by two points, 62-60, at the 8:19 mark.

UND's Evan Lindahl then hit a jumper at the 5:20 mark of the second half to tie the game for the final time and sank another shot after a USD miss to put North Dakota ahead for the final time at the 4:45 mark, 68-66.

With the Coyotes leading by three, 73-70, Trofholz put a shot off the glass over a UND defender with 1:02 left in regulation to give USD a five-point lead, which ended up being the final margin of victory.

Seven points was the largest margin for any team in the game, which came when USD sophomore Eric Hall (Huron) sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left in the contest.

USD was solid at the free throw line in the final 30 seconds, as they made four of its five attempts to hold off North Dakota for its fourth-straight win over UND.

North Dakota finished with two more field goals and the same number of three-point baskets, but it was at the foul line where the Coyotes put the game away. USD was 16-of-18 (88.9 percent) at the charity stripe, while UND was 7-of-8 (87.5 percent).

For the contest, USD shot 46.8 percent (29-of-62) from the field, but struggled from three-point range as they made just 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) attempts. For the first time in 12 games, the Coyotes outrebounded its opponent with a 35-34 advantage in boards over UND. USD also had a season-low five turnovers in the game.

Hall finished with 15 points, while Becker (Plymouth, MN) added 13 points in his 11th start of the season.

North Dakota shot 47.7 percent (31-of-65) from the field and connected on 29.4 percent (5-of-17) beyond the three-point arc.

Nobles and Lindahl led UND with 16 points each, while Jacobson and Hoy added 11. Daniel Harkins also chipped in with 10 for UND.

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