Coyotes win thriller at Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, MO. (USD) – The South Dakota Coyotes led from start to finish for the fourth straight game in an entertaining 66-64 win inside the Swinney Center on Friday night.

It was the first of two meetings between South Dakota (5-6, 3-0 Summit) and the new Summit League member Kansas City (5-7, 1-3 Summit). The two teams match up for the final game of the two-game series Saturday at 7 p.m. back inside the Swinney Center.

The Yotes were led by Stanley Umude with 18 points and six boards. A.J. Plitzuweit chipped in with 14 points including 9-of-9 from the line and hauled in a team-high seven rebounds.

The Roos were led by Brandon McKissic with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists. Three other Roos scored in double figures in Zion Williams (10), Josiah Allick (11) and Marvin Nesbitt Jr. (13). Nesbitt Jr had a game-high 12 rebounds as well.

South Dakota began strong for the third consecutive game, taking an early 8-0 lead with six early points for Tasos Kamateros in the first two minutes and change. The Yotes extended their lead to 21-9 before the Roos used an 8-0 scoring run to cut the lead to 21-17 after a Nesbitt Jr. layup with 8:07 left in the first stanza.

USD responded on the offensive end with a pair of 7-0 runs to make it 35-22 with 2:35 on the clock and went into the half up 40-26.

The Yotes opened the second half struggling from the field shooting just two of their first six shots and going on a three-minute scoring drought in the opening six minutes of the second half. Ty Chisom broke the scoring drought with a layup in the paint to make it 46-35.

Kansas City chipped away at the lead, locking down the Coyotes defensively and cutting the lead to 57-52 with 5:51 left. McKissic went five of his last six from the field and the Roos utilized a 9-2 run over a three-minute stretch.

The Roos got within three at 62-59 with 1:22 left and an offensive foul by Mason Archambault gave the ball to the Roos with a chance to tie. After Kansas City’s Demarius Pitts missed both from the line, both teams traded baskets to make the score 64-61 with 47 seconds remaining. A turnover from Archambault gave the Roos the ball with 15 seconds left with a chance to tie things up.

Coming off a screen, the Roo’s Caden Boser pushed off on Plitzuweit drawing the charge. Plitzuweit would sink two free throws and a last second 3-point basket from McKissic at the buzzer made the final score 66-64 in favor of the Yotes.

After shooting 47.8 percent from the field in the first half the Yotes only shot 33 percent in the second half and finished with a 40.4 percent shooting effort from the field and 87.5 percent (21-24) shooting effort from the charity stripe.

The Roos shot 41.5 percent (22-53) from the field and 33 percent (8-24) from deep. After going 4-of-4 in the first half from the line Kansas City only went 8-of-15 in the second half for 63.2 percent (12-of-19) in the game.

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