Coyotes coast past Peru State

Needing to rediscover a flow on offense, the South Dakota men's basketball team did that and more.

South Dakota's Steve Tecker slams the ball home during the Coyotes' home victory over Peru State, Wednesday at the DakotaDome. (Photo by James D. Cimburek/P&D)

Twelve three-pointers and a blistering start helped that cause.

The Coyotes used a 69-percent effort from the field in the first half to cruise past NAIA Peru State 103-63 on Wednesday night in the DakotaDome.

Eight players scored for USD (5-6), which rebounded from Sunday's overtime loss to Canisius in dominating fashion.

"We're trying to do some different things to make our game more versatile," said forward Ricardo Andreotti, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. "We just wanted to find our flow.

"We were able to find the open guys and hit those shots we didn't last time."

The Coyotes – playing their final non-conference game before returning to Summit League action next week – put five players in double figures.

Charlie Westbrook led the way with 21 points, while Jordan Boots (19), Brandon Bos (15) and Louie Krogman (13) also keyed the offense.

"It's great to have that balance," Westbrook said. "We looked really good, came together and got it done."

Peru State (1-13), an NAIA team from Peru, NE, was playing without its leading scorer Derrick Williams – averaging 23.2 points.

Yet, it mattered little in the thrashing.

"We respected this team, and knew we had to play the same way we would for any team," Andreotti said. "We have two big games coming up after break and we needed to start right now."

After the game's opening three minutes, there was no drama – the shots started falling in bunches for USD.

An Allen Saint-Gelais three-pointer put the Coyotes in front early, and a 26-8 run over the next 10 minutes put the game out of reach.

Eight players scored in the first half for USD, which took a commanding 60-32 lead into the break.

Of course, when you shoot nearly 70 percent from the field, it's hard not to feel good about the offense.

The second half was more of the same, as the Coyotes were able to bring in reserves for the final stretch.

An area of concern this season for USD has been rebounding, but Wednesday's 45-27 edge in that category likely eased some of those worries – for now.

"We wanted to take a step defensively," Westbrook said. "We worked on some things that we might do when we get back from break, and it worked out for us.

"Hopefully that helps us get more wins."

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