USD men get big win at Omaha

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OMAHA, NE Triston Simpson’s two free throws with 3.4 seconds left sealed the deal for the Coyotes in an 81-80 win over Omaha on Sunday afternoon inside Baxter Arena.

It was the seventh win in eight games for South Dakota (16-8, 7-3 Summit). USD concluded its two-game road trip with a pair of wins and extended its win streak to five games. The Coyotes snapped Omaha’s 16-game home win streak and swept the season series.

With eight seconds left, Omaha’s Matt Pile missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity and Simpson was fouled from behind at the other end with 3.4 seconds left. Simpson made both free throws to give the Coyotes an 81-80 lead. The Mavericks had to go the length of the court and missed a 30-footer at the buzzer that would have been the game-winner.

Tyler Hagedorn scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the first half for the Yotes while Simpson finished with 13 points and was 5-of-6 from the line and 4-of-8 from the field. Simpson added four assists and five rebounds on the afternoon. Hagedorn recorded his 12th 20th-point game of the season and fourth consecutive game of 20 or more points.

USD started conference play dropping its first three road games and since have won two straight road games. With the win, the Yotes move into third place in the Summit League standings.

Omaha (12-11, 5-3) was led by KJ Robinson with 22 points and Matt Pile with 19 points. Pile also added nine rebounds and four assists. Robinson recorded three steals on the afternoon as well. Zach Thornhill and Ayo Akinwole chipped in with 10 points apiece.

Two other Coyotes finished in double figures as Cody Kelley added 10 points and four rebounds and Tyler Peterson added 17 points, six boards and three steals.

The Mavericks jumped out to a 12-0 lead forcing a timeout from head coach Todd Lee. Hagedorn scored the Yotes’ first basket five minutes into the game. Omaha grew the lead to as many as 14 points with 11 minutes left before USD mounted a run to trail by only two at 47-45 entering the halftime break.

In the second half, Stanley Umude’s jumper from the top of the key gave him his first points of the afternoon and the Yotes their first lead of the game. His fastbreak layup with 14:52 left gave South Dakota its largest lead of the game at five points, 58-53.

Omaha fought back to make the game a photo finish. USD held a five-point lead after Hagedorn hit a pair from the line with 3:25 left, but three straight turnovers from the Coyotes gave Omaha momentum to make a comeback.

The Mavericks converted off USD’s mistakes late in the game to take an 80-79 lead after a pair of free throws from Akinwole with 21 seconds remaining.

Hagedorn’s layup rimmed in and out with 14 seconds left sending Pile to the line where he would miss the front-end and Simpson making two from the line to win the game for the Yotes.

The Coyotes shot 44 percent from the field and 23 percent from deep while making 24-of-25 from the charity stripe. Omaha shot 48.3 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from deep while connecting on 19-of-23 from the line.

South Dakota is back home hosting Peru State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. before hitting the road to face North Dakota on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Courtesy USD Athletics