COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (USD) – The South Dakota men’s basketball team wrapped up its road trip with a 79-58 loss to Air Force in Clune Arena on the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy Tuesday. The Coyotes fell to 5-5 on the year while the Falcons improved to 6-4 in 2022.

South Dakota struggled shooting the ball this afternoon while Air Force shot nearly 50 percent from the floor. USD was limited to 36 percent shooting and just 14 percent from three, making three of its 21 attempts. The second half was better as the Coyotes shot 48 percent from the floor and 27 percent from three compared to a 28 percent mark in the first and 0-for-10 from three in the first 20 minutes.

USD was the first on the board after Tasos Kamateros opened the scoring with a layup on the first possession of the game. After that, it was all Air Force as they overtook the lead two possessions later and held on to it for the remainder of the game. The Falcon lead swelled to double-digits at the 9:36 mark of the first half and never dipped back into single-digits. A.J. Plitzuweit went on a quick 6-0 run out of the half to put some life into the South Dakota offense, but never could tame the Falcons on the defensive end as Air Force went on to win by 21 points.

Plitzuweit led the Coyotes with 15 points on the night on 5-of-12 shooting. Max Burchill was the second Coyote in double-figures as he tied a career-high 11 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor. Kruz Perrott-Hunt and Paul Bruns each scored eight points while Kamateros added five. Kamateros hauled in a new career-high 15 rebounds, nearly doubling his previous career-best. Damani Hayes had five points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Air Force’s Jake Heidbreder set a new career-high with 27 points in 25 minutes of play. Heidbreder shot 8-of-12 from the floor and made five of his eight three-point attempts. Camden Vander Zwaag added 14 points with all of his shots coming from the three-point line. As a team, the Falcons shot 49 percent from the floor and 45 percent from three. Air Force shot 60 percent in the first half including a 55 percent mark from the three in the first 20 minutes of play.

South Dakota returns home for the two remaining non-conference games. First up is UC Irvine on Saturday, who is 16th in the latest mid-major top 25 poll. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 1 p.m. from the Sanford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion.