Jauwan Scaife scored the game’s final seven points and led Ball State with 14 points in the Cardinals’ 62-51 win against South Dakota Saturday at Worthen Arena. The two programs meet again next Saturday at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
Steve Tecker came off South Dakota’s bench and tied his career high with 15 points. Trevor Gruis had 14 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and four steals for the Coyotes (4-6), who have lost three of their last four.
Ball State center Majok Majok, the leading rebounder in Mid-American Conference entering play this week, had 16 boards to go along with nine points. The Cardinals (4-4) used 15 offensive rebounds and enjoyed a 48-30 rebounding edge to get past South Dakota. It was the fourth time in 10 games this season the Coyotes ended up with a double-digit disadvantage on the boards.
Outside of Gruis, South Dakota’s starting lineup combined to shoot 4 of 25 (16 percent) and score 13 points. Juevol Myles, the team’s leading scorer heading into the contest, got all three of his points on the game’s first possession. He was 0 of 8 the rest of the way and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with his team trailing 55-51 with 1:29 remaining.
Scaife came back and hit a 3 on the other end of the floor to make it 58-51 with a minute left. South Dakota missed their final four shots from the field while Scaife made 4 of 6 free throws.
The teams were tied at the half, 26-26, and it was 39-39 eight minutes into the second half. Marcus Posley and Zach Fields combined to score eight of the game’s next 10 points for the Cardinals and Scaife hit a 3 that made it 54-44 with six minutes left. South Dakota scored seven unanswered points before Scaife finished it off.
South Dakota head coach Dave Boots post-game quotes:
On today’s game…
“We didn’t play well on the offensive end today. It was a nightmare shooting the basketball, but I thought our guys played hard and competed with them. Physically, it was a challenge. They have great size inside and their guards are big, strong guys. We didn’t get good looks all the time, but we had a lot of them. It was so disappointing to have that kind of night shooting from kids who are good shooters.
“I thought our defense was pretty good today. We gave up some offensive rebounds again, but we guarded pretty well. We got it to 54-50 and had pretty good looks that would have made it tight at the end, but they didn’t fall and we had to foul.”
On the play of Steve Tecker…
“Steve’s hips have been bothering him, but he battles through it and plays with some pain, but this was his best outing. He’s been in our program for three years so he knows what’s going on. He played exceptionally well today.”
On the play of Trevor Gruis…
“He’s starting to have some good games for us. He’s getting confident and he’s comfortable with what we are doing. We are putting him in positions to be successful. We have to have a lot more than 1-2 guys play well though. We’re looking for a more consistent effort and to keep making progress. It was a competitive road game and we are going to take some positives from this.
“We don’t have to make any adjustments to next week, we just have to make some shots.”
Courtesy: Brian Boettcher, USD