Coyote comeback falls short as USD men fall in first round of NCAA tournament to Northern State

Coyote comeback falls short as USD men fall in first round of NCAA tournament to Northern State
An amazing comeback falls short as The University of South Dakota men's basketball team fell in the first round of the NCAA Division II North Central Region tournament to Northern State University. The Coyotes trailed by 19 at one point in the second half before rallying to retake the lead with five minutes to play. However, NSU's Kevin Ratzsch would hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left in the game to give the Wolves a 70-69 win.

Northern State (28-3) would build a large lead early in the game. After a Tyler Cain (So., Rochester, MN) basket at the 16:52 mark in the first half tied the game at 7-7, Northern State pieced together an 11-0 run over nearly three minutes.

The Wolves would be able to sustain a large lead throughout the entire first half as they never allowed South Dakota to build its own scoring run. A 7-0 run by NSU late in the first half would build the lead up to 15 and they would take a 14-point lead into halftime at 44-30.

Eric Hall (Sr., Huron) opened the second half up with a three-pointer to bring USD to within 11. Both teams would go on a three minute scoring drought before the teams began a two minute stretch in which they traded baskets. After a Cain layup at the 14:15 mark made it a 54-39 game, Craig Nelson scored four-straight points for the Wolves.

With Northern State up 58-39 with 12:26 to play, the Coyotes began to claw themselves back into the game by going on a 26-4 scoring run. Hall would score eight points during that stretch thanks to free throws and baskets from behind the arc.

Dylan Grimsley (Jr., Sioux City, IA) would also score eight points during the run, including a three-pointer at the 5:03 mark that gave USD a 63-62 lead.

Dustin Little (Sr., Castlewood) converted a layup to cap the 26-4 run.

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