Canisius upends USD in OT

For whatever reason, Canisius sure likes playing inside the DakotaDome.

Two straight wins there prove it.

Handing South Dakota a rare home loss for a second straight season, the visiting Golden Griffins from New York dominated the extra session in a 90-80 overtime men's basketball win Sunday afternoon in Vermillion.

South Dakota's Trevor Gruis (50) battles Canisius defenders Alshwan Hymes and Josiah Heath during Sunday’s action in the DakotaDome. Gruis scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Coyotes. (Photo by David Lias)

Canisius (2-8), which lost at home to USD earlier this month, shot 50 percent from the field and claimed a 45-29 edge on the glass.

"This one is tough for us," said USD senior Charlie Westbrook, who scored 21 points. "We beat them at their place, but they came in here amped up and out-played us.

"It's not fun losing; nobody likes it."

Playing their first game in eight days, the Coyotes (4-6) struggled on the defensive end — allowing a combined 50 points to the Canisius tandem of Alshawn Hymes (26) and Harold Washington (24).

And then there was the rebounding issues.

"It's a big challenge for us physically, because we don't have great size and our best offensive players haven't been our best rebounders," USD coach Dave Boots said. "It really hurt us."

In the final 30 seconds of regulation, each team drilled a contested three-pointer, the latest coming by Hymes with 9.6 seconds left to tie the game at 71.

Following a timeout, USD had two good looks at the hoop, but both missed — sending the slugfest to overtime.

That's where the Golden Griffins took over, getting a go-ahead three from Washington with 2:34 to play. From there, the Coyotes were playing catch-up.

"We made some winning plays, just not enough to win," said sophomore Steve Tecker, who had 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench. "We had some lapses where we lost our man, but rebounding was tough."

Proof that Canisius dominated the glass: The Golden Griffins held a 16-9 edge in offensive rebounds, and had a 23-3 edge in second chance points.

"When they got them, they scored," Boots said. "That's what really hurt us."

Even a 52-percent clip from the field in the first half wasn't enough to build a lead for the Coyotes.

A three-pointer by Washington at the halftime buzzer sent Canisius to the locker room up 33-31.

The largest lead in the second half for Canisius was nine (55-46) with 11:41 to play, but the Coyotes clawed back over the next four minutes.

Down 68-64, the Golden Griffins tied the game with under two minutes left. Then came the consecutive threes with under 30 seconds left, and the two misses at the rim by USD.

In the overtime period, Canisius shot 5-of-9 from the field while USD missed all of its final six attempts.

"We just didn't shoot very well," Boots said. " That was a tough one. They played a tough zone, but we had looks; just couldn't make a shot."

Louie Krogman added 12 points, despite going 1-of-11 on threes, for the Coyotes, while Trevor Gruis posted 11 points and seven rebounds.

Saying that the team needs to get its "toughness back up," USD will have to regroup for Wednesday night's home game with NAIA Peru State, according to Tecker.

"We have to get this win to get our confidence back up," he said. "This one (Sunday) would've helped, but we just have to play that much better on Wednesday."

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