Coyotes halt losing streak with big win over Omaha

USD ends three game skid with 84-68 win
USD Beats Omaha 84-68
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 10:59 PM CST
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VERMILLION, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A near 60 percent shooting effort from the field lifted South Dakota to an 84-68 win over Omaha Saturday afternoon inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Four Coyotes scored in double-figures as they made 31-of-53 baskets. USD also shot 55 percent from three-point range. The win snapped a three-game skid and moved South Dakota to a 9-11 record (4-4 Summit). The Mavericks have now lost three straight and seven straight to South Dakota as they fall to 7-14 (3-6 Summit) on the season.

It was a completely different script from Thursday’s game against Denver. After shooting 37 percent two days ago and scoring 60 points, South Dakota went off for 84 points on 58.5 percent shooting performance. The team picked up 16 assists and limited themselves to 10 turnovers. Kruz Perrott-Hunt led the Coyotes in scoring with 22 points on 8-of-14 from the floor. Perrott-Hunt knocked down two three-pointers and made all four of his free-throws. A.J. Plitzuweit had an efficient day shooting the ball. Plitzuweit made 6-of-10 from the floor including 5-of-7 from deep. His five three-pointers tied a season-high for the Vermillion native. Plitzuweit also tied with Mason Archambault for the team-lead in assists with four. Tasos Kamateros added 16 points on 6-of-11 from the floor and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds. Damani Hayes provided 10 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds.

Max Burchill scored eight timely points off the bench today including two three-pointers. His eight points came at a time where Omaha was poised to get back in the game, and Burchill provided separation and a spark for the Coyotes.

“Max is a guy that brings energy every single day at practice,” said USD head coach Eric Peterson. “It’s not just working hard, but it’s bringing positive energy and picking people up. He’s developing more and more confidence and I think he’s only going to get better.”

Omaha’s Tony Osburn scored two straight three-pointers to begin the game for UNO. A 6-0 lead early into the game was the largest lead of the game for the Mavericks. Both teams traded baskets throughout the first half and were tied at 16 midway through the first 20 minutes. Kamateros went on an 6-0 run by himself, including a four-point play, with less than three minutes remaining to give South Dakota its largest lead of the first half at 40-29. A last-second shot by Paul Bruns at the horn gave the Coyotes a 10-point lead at the break.

Omaha fought back in the second half and continued to make open shots from deep. Back-to-back buckets from Luke Jungers and a layup by Akol Arop leaped the Mavericks in front by two with 12:41 left on the clock. A couple minutes later and down by one, the Coyotes went on a 11-0 run in three minutes to take the lead for good. Archambault put USD back in the lead with a jumper at the 10:39 mark of the second half. Burchill followed with his second three-pointer of the game and Plitzuweit netted a layup before the media timeout. The run continued out of the break with a layup by Perrott-Hunt. On the defensive end, Burchill picked up a steal and went coast-to-coast for a banked-in jumper and forced Omaha to call a timeout with eight minutes to go. South Dakota kept the pressure on and iced the win with three-pointers by Plitzuweit to take today’s game by 16 points.

“We looked like a different team,” said Peterson. “We struggled the last three games, and we talked a lot yesterday. I’m proud of our guys. I think we have guys that really care about this place and each other. When you have that, it’s easy to try and turn that momentum around.”

The Coyotes fueled their offensive attack with timely stops on the defensive end. USD held Omaha to 68 points on 45.6 percent shooting. The Mavericks made 11 three-pointers and finished with a 47.8 percent mark from three. South Dakota also kept UNO off the line as they only attempted six free-throws all game. Jungers went off for Omaha as he put up 27 points on 8-of-14 from the field. He also sank 6-of-11 from downtown. Osburn was the only other Maverick in double-figures with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting and 3-of-6 from three. The Coyotes held Omaha’s leading-scorer Frankie Fidler to four points and fouled him out of the game.

South Dakota has a tough week ahead with three games in five days on the road. The Coyotes next game is Thursday night at Western Illinois. That game is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Macomb, Ill.