Coyotes Drop Close Contest to Canisius

The South Dakota men's basketball team  had a chance to tie in the final minute but came up on the short side of a 73-69 game against Canisius College on Tuesday in the DakotaDome. The Coyotes (3-6) came back from an eight-point halftime deficit to tie the game several times in the second half, but free throws down the stretch claimed the win for the Golden Griffins.Sophomore guard Jake Thomas (Racine, Wis.) paced the Coyotes with 15 points, including three treys late in the game, while freshman center Trevor Gruis (Ellsworth, Minn.) had a career-high 14 points and seven rebounds thanks to a 7-of-12 night from the floor. Junior guard Louie Krogman (White River, S.D.) added 12 points for USD to round out the double-figure scorers, while senior guard Kendall Cutler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had four assists and three steals.The Coyotes were down 59-53 with 8:03 but battled back several times down the stretch. They closed the gap to 67-66 after Thomas drained a three with 1:31 left. Canisius (4-4) answered with a basket to push the lead to three, and on South Dakota's next possession, Krogman had a three point miss. Canisius hit two free throws to push the advantage back to 71-69.Thomas drained another three with 17 seconds left to bring South Dakota within 71-69, but Cansisius iced the game from the line to earn the four-point win.The Coyotes took their first lead of the contest at 6-5 after junior forward Ricardo Andreotti (Sao Paulo, Brazil) put home a dunk off of an alley-oop pass from Cutler two minutes into the game. South Dakota's lead grew to 11-7 after Krogman drained a three-pointer with 14:56 left in the half.Canisius answered with 13 straight points to take a 20-11 lead with 11:55 left in the first half. The Coyotes broke the streak with a three-point play by senior forward Mitchell Bouie (Chicago, Ill.) to climb within 20-14 with 10:25 left in the half. South Dakota was slowed by cold shooting for much of the first half, as the Coyotes hit just seven of their first 28 field goal attempts (25 percent).The Coyotes, who were down 27-16 at one point in the half, closed the gap approaching halftime. Gruis had a dunk, and sophomore guard Jordan Boots (Vermillion, S.D.) sank a three-pointer to start a 10-0 Coyote run to bring South Dakota within 27-26. Boots added a breakaway layup with 3:48 left in the half to cap off the run. Cansisius pushed the lead back to 37-29 by halftime.The Coyotes shot just 27 percent (12-of-44) in the first half, compared to 48 percent for the Golden Griffins. Krogman and Gruis led South Dakota with eight points each in the first half, while Boots added five off the bench.South Dakota cut into the eight-point deficit in the second half, and closed within 45-44 after a basket by junior guard Charlie Westbrook (Milwaukee, Wis.). The Coyotes tied the game shortly after at 47-47 when Westbrook hit 1-of-2 free throws. South Dakota was unable to take the lead but stayed close until the final buzzer.

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