Second half propels Coyote men over UND

Second half propels Coyote men over UND
The University of South Dakota men's basketball team notched its ninth straight victory by outscoring the University of North Dakota by 15 points in the second half en route to a 70-54 North Central Conference win in front of 3,457 in the DakotaDome.

The Coyotes improved to 13-4 on the season and stayed perfect in league play by moving 2-0. UND fell to 8-10 overall and 0-3 in the NCC.

Junior forward Eric Hall (Huron) led all scorers with 22 points on the evening, which was his second consecutive 20-point effort. Hall, who made 5-of-10 three-point attempts, also added five rebounds and three steals in 39 minutes of action.

Sophomore swingman Dylan Grimsley (Sioux City, IA) added 13 points, including making 7-of-8 attempts from the free-throw line, along with hauling in a game-high seven rebounds while playing 39 minutes. Freshman forward Tyler Cain (Rochester, MN) and junior guard Dustin Little (Castlewood) each went for 11 points and three steals, with Cain grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists while Little had five boards.

North Dakota had only one player reach double digits in scoring, that being junior guard Ervin Youmans with 18 points. Youmans also tied for the team-high with five rebounds.

UND entered the game with the best field goal percentage in the NCC, but the South Dakota defense limited the visitors to just 40.8 percent shooting (20-of-49). The Coyotes made 8-of-20 three-point attempts (40.0 percent) while holding North Dakota to just 2-of-8 (25.0 percent) from beyond the arc. South Dakota also forced UND into twice as many turnovers as it committed (22-to-11).

USD jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead over the first 4:43 of play. However, North Dakota responded with a 10-0 run to hold a 14-10 advantage with 12:27 left on the clock in the first half. UND would lead throughout most of the first half, but the Coyotes were able to end the first half with a 10-2 run to take a slim 27-26 lead into halftime.

At the start of the second half, North Dakota came out of their team locker room with a strong 8-2 rush to take its largest lead of the second half with 15:42 remaining, holding a 34-29 advantage. However, UND was unable to withstand a Coyote surge that started with a 14-3 run capped by a jumper by Hall to give USD a 48-39 lead with 9:52 left on the clock. South Dakota did not trail the rest of the way, as they later strung together a 15-3 run to lead by as much as 18 before settling in for the 18-pointvictory.

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