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Summit League Men: South Dakota Routed at Western Illinois

Tyler Flack, University of South Dakota
University of South Dakota

Despite a perfect 3-0 start to the Summit League season for South Dakota, there were still plenty of questions about the Coyotes as they played at Western Illinois Thursday night.

Topping the list of questions: how would USD do away from the DakotaDome for the first time in the conference this season?

Answer: Western Illinois 79, South Dakota 61, stopping a five-game USD winning streak.

The Coyotes knew points would be a premium against the defense minded Leathernecks, and in the first half in Macomb, USD barely managed more made baskets (8) than turnovers (7), shooting 38%.

Western Illinois meanwhile strung together two different runs, one of six points, one of 11 straight, keyed by the three point shooting of freshman Garret Covington, who nailed three of the Leathernecks five 3-pointers in the first half, pacing them to a 12-point lead at the break.

Defensively, Western Illinois threw a blanket over Coyotes center Trevor Gruis in the first half, double and triple teaming him, and keeping him off the scoreboard until the 17:20 mark of the second half.

The Leathernecks came out red hot in the second half, hitting 9 of their first 10 shots, while USD started 2-of-9, that’s all the Leathernecks needed to quickly push their lead to 24, as they coasted to an 18-point win.

Covington finished 5-of-8 with 4 three’s for 21 points,  Jabari Sandifer had 13, Rapid City native Tate Stensgaard had 10 points and 4 rebounds for Western Illinois.

The Leathernecks shot 62% for the game.

South Dakota had three players in double figures. led by Tyler Flack with 11 and Brandon Bos and Adam Thoesby with 10 each. Gruis was just 2-of-4 for five points.

The Coyotes (9-10/3-1) play at Omaha Saturday afternoon at 1:00pm.


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