Frank Gaines scored a game-high 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting to lead Fort Wayne to a 64-51 win against South Dakota on senior night at the DakotaDome. It was the final home game of the season for the Coyotes (8-18, 4-10 Summit League), who will play their final three on the road.
Gaines had 15 points in the first half and the Mastodons (12-16, 5-9) led 36-17 at the break. South Dakota made 7 of 23 shots in the opening stanza and was outscored 19-4 during the final nine minutes. Fort Wayne shot 47 percent in the first half, hit four three-pointers and committed just one turnover.
South Dakota switched from matchup zone to man-to-man defense in the second half and it led to a 10-2 Coyote run that spanned six minutes and cut the deficit to 38-27. Trevor Gruis scored 10 of his team-leading 12 points during the first nine minutes of the second half. His sixth field goal of the game made it 42-31 with 11 minutes to go. He was 6 of 8 from the field.
Fort Wayne point guard Pierre Bland made back-to-back layups to cap a 6-0 run and the Mastodons stayed in control the rest of the way. The Mastodons earned a 36-29 edge on the boards and turned 10 USD turnovers into 16 points.
Casey Kasperbauer made three of South Dakota’s five three-pointers and had 11 points. Juevol Myles added 10 points and three assists. Fort Wayne’s Joe Edwards came off the bench to net 11 points.
Courtesy: Bryan Boettcher, USD