The win was USD's (17-1, 2-1 NCC) first against an NCAA Division II opponent that was ranked. Nebraska-Omaha (15-3, 1-2 NCC) came into the game as the nation's 16th-ranked team.
Turnovers and free throws were major keys in the victory for the Coyotes.
While neither team was sloppy with the basketball, USD was able to take advantage of the Maverick miscues. USD had a 19 to 2 advantage on points off of turnovers.
USD also held a major advantage in free throws, as they went to the foul line 29 times compared to UNO's 11. The Coyotes made 19 free throws while the Mavericks had just six.
One area in which Nebraska-Omaha was able to stay in the game was three-point shooting.
Surprisingly the Coyotes were out-shot from behind the arc as the Mavericks hit 10 three-pointers while USD was able to hit just four. South Dakota shot 17.4 percent from the 3-point line, their lowest percentage of the season.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout most of the first half.
The Coyotes suffered an early blow when Tyler Cain picked up his second personal foul at the 16:06 mark. Cain's early fouls prompted the earlier than anticipated return of Dustin Little.
The team's point guard, who had missed the three games due to a broken bone in his hand, energized the Coyote defense with his return.
With Cain out of the lineup, the Mavericks attacked the middle of the USD defense. Nebraska-Omaha's Michael Jenkins scored 11 first half points, thanks in large part to his ability to drive to the basket without Cain lurking.
Despite the play of Jenkins, the Coyotes were able to string together a big run towards the end of the first half to take control of the game.