VERMILLION, S.D. -- Stanley Umude scored a season-high 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead South Dakota to an 85-72 win over Western Illinois Wednesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
The win avenges an earlier loss to the Leathernecks back in late December and moves the Coyotes a half game back of North Dakota State and South Dakota State atop the Summit standings. South Dakota (19-8, 9-3 Summit) extends its win streak to eight games and stays unbeaten in conference play at home. It was the 10th win in 11 games for the Coyotes.
"When Stan is aggressive he's a matchup problem," USD head coach Todd Lee said. "When he's aggressive and sealing in the paint and we are getting him the ball he's hard to guard. He got 28 points on 13 shots. When you see a stat line where Stan gets to the line eight or nine times then you know how aggressive he's being."
In addition to Umude, South Dakota got 16 points from Tyler Hagedorn and 15 points from Triston Simpson. Ty Chisom chipped in with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting off the bench. The Yotes recorded 44 points in the paint compared to WIU's 20.
"Pounding the ball inside was a big emphasis during halftime," Lee said. " We wanted to take advantage of the matchups with their smaller players so we put a big emphasis on driving the ball inside and making harder cuts to get to the line more in the second half. After only getting to the line two times in the first half, we did a nice job getting to the line in the second half attempting 23 free throws."
Western Illinois (5-17, 2-10) was led by Kobe Webster with 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting. Zion Young chipped in with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting before fouling out at the 2:12 mark in the second half.
The Leathernecks jumped out to an early 11-point lead at 19-8 with 10 minutes to go before half. The Yotes responded with a 22-4 run during the next eight minutes to take a 30-23 lead with 2:25 left before the break. During that span, the Coyotes held WIU to 1-of-12 shooting from the field while going 9-of-12 on the offensive end. USD led at halftime 35-31.
South Dakota used a flurry of scoring runs in the first 10 minutes out of the break to build a 60-48 lead. Another 10-4 run gave them their largest lead of the night at 70-52.
USD weathered Western Illinois' full-court pressure and made some free throws down the stretch to secure its third straight double-digit victory.
The Coyotes travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday to face Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. South Dakota topped the Golden Eagles 91-80 back on Jan. 25. ORU (13-12, 6-6) ended a two-game skid Wednesday by outlasting Omaha at home 81-78 in overtime.
-RECAP COURTESY USD ATHLETICS