Coyote men drop GWC opener to Sioux

Junior guard Louie Krogman scored 16 points to lead three Coyotes in double figures, but the South Dakota men�s basketball team dropped a 75-62 game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Saturday afternoon. In the Great West Conference opener for both squads, USD (8-10, 0-1) battled to within eight points late in the game, but UND (8-9, 1-0) hit free throws down the stretch.

Krogman (White River, S.D.) connected on 6-of-9 from the field for his points and earned three steals, while senior guard Kendall Cutler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a season-high 13 points and three assists. Junior Ricardo Andreotti (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored 10 all the in second half and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, as the USD big men played with foul trouble all night.

USD shot 37 percent (22-of-59) for the game, including hitting just two treys (2-of-16) compared to 44 percent (26-of-59) and 40 percent (6-of-15) for UND. The Sioux earned a 42-35 rebounding advantage and both teams committed nine turnovers.

It was a defensive battle through the first five minutes, as the Coyotes and Sioux combined to start 1-of-11 from the field with five turnovers. Freshman center Trevor Gruis (Ellsworth, Minn.) got USD on the board with a layup and Krogman added a free throw for a 3-0 lead at 15:14, but UND hit its next six shots to go up 16-5. Cutler fought for an offensive rebound and easy layup to break the run midway through the half, before adding two free throws.

Two fouls apiece on big men Gruis, Andreotti and senior Mitchell Bouie (Chicago, Ill.) forced the Coyotes to the bench, while a 2-of-9 stretch from the floor allowed the Sioux to extend the lead to 23-9 at the 8:06 mark with another spurt. The squads exchanged baskets down the stretch courtesy of baskets from Gruis and Krogman and free throws by junior guard Charlie Westbrook (Milwaukee, Wis.), but UND still went into halftime up 12 at 37-25.

Gruis and Krogman both had seven points at the break, while Cutler contributed five. USD shot just 27 percent (9-of-33) from the floor in the half and couldn�t connect on any treys (0-of-11) compared to 55 percent (15-of-27) and 44 percent (4-of-9) for UND. The Sioux held a 21-18 rebounding advantage.

Andreotti quickly cut the UND lead to single digits to start the second half with back-to-back offensive boards and layups, before the squads exchanged baskets over the next five minutes. An 8-0 USD run brought the Coyotes within four at 43-39 thanks to a layup from Westbrook, free throws from Krogman and four-straight points from freshman guard Steve Tecker (Brule, Wis.).

The Coyotes climbed within three at the midway point courtesy of two layups from Andreotti, but UND slowly extended the advantage back to double digits at 61-50 with 7:20 to go. USD cut the lead to eight several times, but that was as close as the Coyotes would get as UND hit free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

South Dakota starts a five-game homestand next Saturday by hosting Utah Valley in the DakotaDome. A men�s and women�s doubleheader, the games tip at 6 and 8 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets in advance at the USD Ticket Office or by calling (605) 677-5959.

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