It was a tale of two halves for the South Dakota men's basketball team as it dropped a 67-44 Summit League contest at Western Illinois Tuesday evening at Macomb, IL. With the loss, the Coyotes fell to 5-9 on the year and 0-5 in conference play, while Western Illinois improved to 7-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
The Coyotes were led by 18 points by senior Charlie Westbrook (Milwaukee, WI) who was the lone Coyote in double figures. He was 8 of 12 from the field and led the team with six rebounds. Senior Louie Krogman (White River) had six points, while freshman Nimrod Hilliard added five.
As a team, the Coyotes shot 40.9 percent from the field on 18 of 44. They were just 2 of 12 from beyond the arc and 6 of 12 from the line. South Dakota shot 63.2 percent in the first half, but went just 6 of 25 from the field in the second half and 0 of 8 from beyond the arc after opening the game 1 of 4 from range.
WIU shot 54.3 percent on 25 of 46 from the field and 6 of 11 from beyond the arc to go along with 11 of 16 from the line. Obi Emegano led all-scorers with 20 points as was 9 of 12 from the field, while Ceola Clark was 7 of 10 from the field, including a game-high 5 of 7 from beyond the arc for 19 points and he had seven assists. Terell Parks chipped in 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The Leathernecks scored the first four points, but the Coyotes came back with the next six as they began the game 5 of 7 from the field for 71.4 percent. Westbrook had four early points to lead the team as it was down 12-11 with 8:45 remaining in the half.
A long jumper by Westbrook gave the lead back to the Coyotes moments later, but WIU's Obi Emegano scored his sixth point of the game as he started 3 for 3 from the field through the first nine minutes for a 14-13 lead with less eight minutes remaining in the half.
Back-to-back triples from Clark put the Leathernecks up 20-16, but a long two from Westbrook brought the Coyotes within 22-18 moments later.
A layup by Westbrook and a triple by Krogman gave the lead back to the Coyotes, followed by a turnover by WIU and a fast break dunk from Westbrook with an assist from Krogman for a 27-22 lead and a quick 9-0 run leading to a timeout by WIU.
Six quick points Clark ended the half as WIU regained the lead on the sixth lead change for a 28-27 lead at intermission.
For the half, the Coyotes were led by a game-high 12 points from Westbrook as he was 6 of 7 from the field with a team-high four rebounds. Krogman added six points, while freshman Brandon Bos (Markham, Ontario) had four points off the bench.
As a team, the Coyotes shot 63.2 percent from the field in the opening half on 12 of 19 from the field. They were 2 of 4 from beyond the arc, but struggled from the charity stripe going just 1 of 4.
Western Illinois was led by 10 points from Clark, while Emegano tallied eight points and Jack Houpt had six points off the bench, including 4 for 4 from the line. The Leathernecks were 10 of 21 from the field for 47.6 percent. They were 2 of 5 from range and 6 of 6 from the line.
A dunk by Terell Parks put the Leathernecks up 34-29 three minutes into the second half, but a steal and layup by freshman Nimrod Hilliard (Madison, WI) cut the deficit 34-31. Another turnover by the Leathernecks and Hilliard earned two charity tosses bringing the Coyotes back to within one.
Clark added his third triple of the game off a Coyote turnover building a seven-point advantage for the Leathernecks and Emegano added a layup moments later leading to a 42-33 advantage with 13:43 left after the Coyotes had cut it to 34-33.
A triple from Houpt put the Leathernecks up 45-35 for their largest lead of the game with 10 minutes remaining. Clark then added his fourth triple on the ensuing WIU possession for a 48-35 lead. Westbrook drew the hoop-and-harm foul for the first Coyote bucket since the 13:33 mark as Westbrook cut the deficit back to 48-38 with 9:19 left.
Clark and Emegano swelled the lead to 55-38 with just over five minutes remaining on a triple from Clark and a jumper from Emegano, followed by a jumper from Don McAvoy for a 57-38 advantage.
Westbrook made 1 of 2 at the line stopping an 11-0 run by the Leathernecks at 59-39 with just over four minutes remaining.
A dunk by senior Ricardo Andreotti (Sao Paulo, Brazil) with 1:45 remaining ended a field goal drought of over eight minutes as the Coyotes cut the deficit to 65-41. Western went on for the 67-44 win.
The Coyotes will continue on the road at UMKC Saturday evening at 7 p.m.