Cartwright leads USF Men past Dakota State


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (USF) – Matt Cartwright scored 28 points and Jack Thompson had a 17 to lead the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (2-1) to a 71-61 nonconference victory over Dakota State (2-6) in USF’s home opener at the Stewart Center on Tuesday night.

Cartwright reached 20 points for the second straight night and has 57 over his past two games. He hit 12-of-24 field goals, including 2-of-6 from three-point range while grabbing five rebounds and recording an assist and steal. Thompson was 6-of-11 from the floor and added nine assists, three rebounds and two steals in a solid floor game. Also for USF, Wesley Oba helped USF to a 31-26 rebound edge by recording a game-high 10 boards. He also had six points including a flush near the end of the game off a pass from Thompson. USF also had six points, including a pair of threes from Cedric Johnson and seven points, three rebounds, and a steal from Jake Kettner.

“It was good to pick up a win,” said USF Head Coach Chris Johnson, whose team faces Chadron State on Friday night at 7 pm at the Stewart Center. “We didn’t play as well as we would have liked on offense but we played sound defense and held them to 61,” he said. With the win, USF improved to 52-5 in nonconference games and picked up its 129th home win with Johnson at the helm of the program.

USF outscored Dakota State, 29-21, in the first half and had a 42-40 edge in the second 20 minutes for the 71-61 win and a second straight decision over the Trojans.

Overall, USF was 27-of-59 from the field for 45.8 percent, which included 7-of-19 from the three-point range for 36.8 percent. The Cougars, which had a 19-6 margin in points from turnovers, made 10-of-14 free throws for 71.4 percent. USF also had a 9-2 margin in fast-break points and had a 12-11 margin in points off the bench.

DSU, which had 20 points and eight rebounds from Ronnie Latting, hit 24-of-51 field goals for 47.1 percent and made 5-of-14 from the three-point range for 35.7 percent. They were also 8-of-9 from the foul stripe for 88.9 percent.

Scoring Summary —
With a 7-0 run, the Cougars rushed out to a 16-7 lead at the halfway point of the opening half with Cartwright providing seven points. Another Cartwright basket boosted the lead to 18-7. But then the Cougars went into a scoring slump and missed 14 of their next 15 shots before Kettner converted a basket for a 24-19 advantage with 1:09 left in the half. With 39 seconds left, Chase Grinde hammered in a three as the Cougars led, 27-19 before taking the 29-21 halftime lead. In the opening 20 minutes, USF was 10-of-29 for 34.5 percent and made just 3-of-12 from the three-point range. DSU was 8-of-24 for 33.3 percent and 1-of-6 from three-point range.

In the second half, USF shot 17-of-30 from the field for 56.7 percent while making 4-of-7 from three-point distance. DSU also upped its shooting by making 16-of-27 for 59.3 percent and was 4-of-8 on three-point shots.

DSU opened the half with a 9-4 run to draw within 33-30 with 17:51 to play after a basket from Lamar Wood. Cartwright had a pair of jumpers to push USF’s lead to 39-33. At the 12:12 mark, Austin Slater made a lay-up off the break as USF took a 46-36 advantage. But DSU answered with a 13-2 run, capped by a three from Jaxon Simons for a 49-48 lead at the 7:47 mark. However, Cartwright responded with a three and gave USF the lead it never again relinquished.

Thompson’s basket off a turnover helped USF take a 55-49 lead with 6:08 to play. With 3:20 on the clock, Thompson had a triple for a 63-57 lead and Cartwright hit a jumper from just outside the pair for a 65-57 lead. With 1:07 to play Thompson converted a drive off a turnover and then had a pass to Oba who converted the alley-oop and the Cougars used an 11-2 run for a 71-59 advantage.

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