Hall’s career performance not enough to carry South Dakota past St. Cloud State

Hall's career performance not enough to carry South Dakota past St. Cloud State
Despite a career-high 30 points from Eric Hall, The University of South Dakota men's basketball team lost for the third-straight time. St. Cloud State University handed the Coyotes a 75-71 defeat, and in the process gave USD its first three-game losing streak since the 2005-06 season.

For the third-straight game the Coyotes (19-4, 4-4 NCC) went into halftime trailing, 39-35. Turnovers were USD's Achilles heel in the first half as the team committed 10. St. Cloud State (17-8, 5-5 NCC) was able to take advantage of the mistakes, scoring 12 points off of USD turnovers.

South Dakota opened the game on a 5-0 run, but the Huskies were able to put together a 10-2 run midway through the first half. SCSU scored the final four points of the first half and took a four-point lead to intermission.

After scoring 11 first half points, Eric Hall (Sr., Huron) put the Coyotes on his back and got the team back into the game. During one stretch in the second half he scored 14-straight points for USD.

Despite the endless efforts by Hall, St. Cloud State always had an answer for his scores and didn't allow the Coyotes to get into a rhythm. The Huskies also were able to come up with timely baskets, as David Dreas hit a three-pointer and Andrew Bernstetter hit multiple baskets to deny any late comeback by USD.

Hall's second half performance kept the Coyotes alive, as he scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half. He was nearly flawless as he shot 8-of-13 from the field, 6-of-8 from the three-point line and made all eight of his free throws. In addition to his career-high scoring total, he also grabbed eight rebounds.

Steve Smith (Jr., Sioux Falls) was the only other Coyote to score in double-digits, finishing with 13 points. He came up with a few big defensive plays in the second half and notched four blocks on the night.

As a team, the Coyotes hit 24-of-51 shots from the field for 47.1 percent. Led by Hall, they made 8-of-19 three-point field goals (42.1 percent) and also converted 15-of-20 shots from the foul line.

Matt Schneck led four Huskies in double-figures with 17 points. Bernstetter had 15 and Dreas had 14, 12 of which came off of three-point baskets. Dusty Wabiszewski displayed his playmaking ability with 10 assists for SCSU.

South Dakota will look to end its losing skid on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. The Coyotes will host the University of North Dakota at the DakotaDome.

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