Coyotes lose to Badgers, 76-61

Junior Charlie Westbrook and sophomore Jake Thomas combined for 33 points and the South Dakota men's basketball team trailed Wisconsin by single digits with less than five minutes left, but the Badgers were able to pull out a 76-61 win over the Coyotes on Saturday afternoon in front of 17,230 fans at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. USD (3-5) matched baskets for the majority of the game before UW (6-2) pulled away.Playing in their home state, Westbrook (Milwaukee, WI) posted 18 points on a 7-of-16 day, while Thomas (Racine, WI) earned 15 thanks in part to three treys. Thomas, freshman center Trevor Gruis (Ellsworth, MN) and junior forward Ricardo Andreotti (Sao Paulo, Brazil) all earned six rebounds.USD shot 38 percent (21-of-55) for the game and the same percentage from deep (7-of-18) compared to UW's 45 percent (29-of-64) and 38 percent (12-of-31). Wisconsin got off to a hot start through the first five minutes by hitting four of its first five shots from deep to jump out to a 12-3 lead. The Coyotes were mired in a 1-of-6 start until sophomore guard Jordan Boots (Vermillion) stopped the drought with a three to breathe some life into USD. Freshman guard Steve Tecker (Brule, WI) hit back-to-back buckets and Westbrook added a jumper off two-straight UW turnovers to cut the lead to five at 18-13 midway through the half.The Badgers responded over the next three minutes with more treys and a 12-2 run to push the lead to double digits at 30-15. Westbrook, Boots and junior guard Louie Krogman (White River) all hit treys of their own, but the Coyotes couldn't get a stop on the defensive end and the lead stayed at double digits.South Dakota owned the final five minutes, though, with a 12-3 run to go into halftime down just five at 42-37. Krogman put in a three, Andreotti worked the boards for a tip-in and Westbrook added a driving layup before Thomas scored the final five points of the half. He connected on two free throws and nailed a deep three with less than five seconds left to turn some momentum toward USD.As it had all game, USD's zone defense gave the Badgers fits to start the second half, but Wisconsin slowly extended the lead to double digits through five minutes. Seven-straight points from Westbrook kept the Coyotes in it and his free throw at the 12:27 mark cut the advantage to single digits at 53-44.The squads exchanged buckets through the middles minutes until free throws from Gruis and Tecker and a Westbrook jumper pulled USD within 57-51 with 7:50 left. Back-to-back treys from Thomas kept the lead at single digits with five minutes left.

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