Omaha pieced together a near flawless second half and survived South Dakota’s shot to win it in a 77-73 victory at Ralston Arena Saturday.
The Mavericks (12-8, 2-3 Summit) trailed by 10 in the first half and 32-27 at halftime, but scored 50 second-half points on 59 percent shooting and limited USD to eight second-half rebounds to prevent a second home defeat in three days.
South Dakota (8-11, 3-2) made 24 of 27 free throws to keep things close, but it was long-range shooting, particularly in the second half, that made the difference. The Coyotes were 3 of 15 from three-point range, which included Adam Thoseby’s miss on an open look from the right corner with seven seconds to go that would have given USD a one-point lead. Omaha was 0 of 6 from deep in the first half, but made 7 of 12 in the second.
CJ Carter made three treys and led Omaha with 18 points. Justin Simmons’ only 3 of the game came with 2:37 to go and it gave the Mavs the lead for good at 71-69. Simmons made his first start in League play and scored 16 points.
Trevor Gruis had a team-high 16 points for South Dakota and pulled down the only two offensive rebounds the Coyotes’ would muster against the Mavs. Brandon Bos scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. Tyler Larson scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.
The Coyotes played without starting point guard Trey Norris, who twisted his ankle in Thursday’s loss at Western Illinois. Norris is the League leader in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio. USD had 10 assists against 14 turnovers Saturday and fell to 1-9 in true road games.
The good news is that the Coyotes return to the DakotaDome next week where the team is 7-1. The Coyotes host North Dakota State Thursday and South Dakota State Saturday.
Courtesy: Bryan Boettcher, USD