Coyotes fall to Redbirds in first game of Roundball Classic

Junior guard Charlie Westbrook scored 18 points and sophomore guard Jordan Boots added 10, but the South Dakota men's basketball team dropped an 81-63 game in the first contest of the Global Sports Roundball Classic on Friday night at Redbird Arena.

The Coyotes dropped to 1-3 on the season, while the Redbirds improved to 3-1.Westbrook (Milwaukee, WI) tied his season high on 8-of-12 from the field and added two steals to help USD take an early advantage, but big runs in the middle of each half sealed the ISU win.

Boots (Vermillion) notched his 10 thanks to 3-of-6 beyond the arc, while senior forward Mitchell Bouie (Chicago, IL) had five rebounds in his second career start and freshman center Trevor Gruis (Ellsworth, MN) added five also.USD shot 46 percent (26-of-56) from the field and 31 percent (5-of-16) from deep, while ISU hit 56 percent (33-of-58) overall and 21 percent (3-of-14) for threes.

The Redbirds held a 35-29 advantage in rebounding and 20-14 advantage in turnovers.South Dakota hit four of its first seven shots while holding Illinois State to just one basket in the first four minutes to build a quick 9-4 lead. Bouie got USD on the board with a layup and Westbrook added back-to-back baskets, before Boots nailed a trey. The Coyotes extended the lead to as many as eight thanks to jumpers from Gruis and junior guard Louie Krogman (White River), while a Bouie offensive rebound and putback put the game at 15-7 with 13:54 to go.

Turnovers by USD let the Redbirds back into the game, as ISU crafted a 19-2 run through the middle minutes to go up 26-17 with 8:13 left. A Boots three broke the spurt to bring the Coyotes back within 10, but the two squads traded buckets down the stretch. Another Boots three and seven straight points from Westbrook cut the lead to seven to go into halftime at 41-34.

Westbrook had 13 points in the first half, while Boots contributed 10 thanks to three treys and Bouie had four rebounds. Both squads shot 51 percent from the field in the first half, as USD connected on four threes to one for ISU. The Redbirds held a slight 17-16 rebounding lead and an 11-7 advantage in turnovers. Senior guard Kendall Cutler (Brooklyn, NY) and Gruis opened the second half with jumpers for the Coyotes, but USD turnovers allowed Illinois State to extend their advantage to 18 at 56-38 with 13:29 left. South Dakota cut the lead to 13 midway through with five-straight points from Krogman and a Steve Tecker (Brule, WI) basket, but once again the Redbirds pulled away with a 17-4 run to go up 75-49 at the 6:08 mark. The USD offense started to gel down the stretch behind Westbrook, but the Coyotes couldn't get stops on the defensive end to draw any closer than 17 points.

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