VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) – South Dakota got back on the winning track with a 97-58 victory over Mount Marty tonight inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. With the win, the Coyotes evened up their record at 4-4.
Five Coyotes scored in double-figures for the first time since last season’s first-round game against Kansas City in the Summit League tournament. After scoring a career-high 13 points Saturday against Coastal Carolina, Mihai Carcoana broke his personal record again with 19 points. Carcoana shot 8-of-10 from the floor including a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Tasos Kamateros netted a new season-high with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 18 minutes of play. Kamateros made 4-of-5 from behind the three-point line and tied for team-lead with seven rebounds tonight.
Paul Bruns scored 13 in his second-straight start for USD. Bruns went 5-of-8 from the floor and made 3-of-5 from three.
Keaton Kutcher contributed a career-high 12 points. All 12 of Kutcher’s points came via the three-point line where he went 4-of-6 tonight. Kruz Perrott-Hunt rounded out the double-digit scoring efforts with 10 points in 16 minutes.
“Tough stretch with four games in seven days,” said USD head coach Eric Peterson. “This game could have gone a couple of different ways. We were just challenging our guys to play the right way all the time and respecting our opponents. When we play the right way, we’re pretty fun to watch.”
South Dakota opened the game with a steal on the defensive end by Mason Archambault quickly followed by a Kamateros three-pointer. Kamateros started the game with 10 straight points for the Coyotes. After a layup by Perrott-Hunt at the 14:41 mark, South Dakota went up 11 points where the double-digit margin stayed for the remainder of the contest. Peterson used this opportunity to play more of the young players on the team. Freshman Felix Broström played the most minutes off the bench with 26 minutes and tied Kamateros for the team-lead in rebounds with seven. Jeremiah Coleman, also a true freshman on the team, recorded 25 minutes of play tonight. Keaton Kutcher and Max Burchill each played 16 minutes while Cade Kandolin stepped on the floor for the first time as a Coyote with 10 minutes of play. South Dakota led by as much as 45 at one point in the second half and cruised to a 39-point victory over Mount Marty.
The Coyotes shot well from the floor tonight and even better from the three-point line. South Dakota shot 56.7 percent from the floor and 57.6 percent from three. The 19 three-pointers made tonight were the most in the Division I era. USD only went to the free-throw line twice but made both attempts.
“What was working tonight was we were guarding people,” said Peterson. “When we play defense and we guard people, we create energy off our defense and our offense is way better. The one thing you can do consistently every single night is play defense. The one thing that you can travel with you on the road is playing defense. That gave us energy to be better on offense and its clear to see when we are elite on defense, we are very hard to guard on offense.”
For Mount Marty, Tash Lunday led the team with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. The Lancers shot 40.7 percent from the floor and 25.9 percent from three.
South Dakota goes back on the road this week for a pair of road games at BYU and Air Force. Saturday’s game against BYU in Salt Lake City tips-off at 2:30 p.m. CT.