VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — Tyler Hagedorn buried six three-pointers and scored a game-high 31 points to lead South Dakota to a 91-80 win against Oral Roberts inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center Saturday.
It was the fifth win in six games for the Coyotes (14-8, 5-3 Summit), who stayed unbeaten at home in Summit play (5-0) and improved to 10-1 on their home court this season. Hagedorn reached 30 points for the second time this season. He was 10-of-14 from the field and 6-of-8 from 3-point range. He also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots.
“Every team guards our ball screen different and we make adjustments, but Hags is obviously playing with a lot of confidence,” said USD head coach Todd Lee. “He’s 6-9, 6-10 and you’re not going to block his shot even on a close out, so he can get that off.”
The loss snapped Oral Roberts’ (11-9, 4-3) four-game win streak. They had beaten those opponents by an average of 15 points and the previous two wins had come on the road. The Golden Eagles fall a half-game back of South Dakota in the Summit standings, while the Coyotes reach the halfway point one game back of first-place South Dakota State.
Senior all-Summit forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi had 27 points and nine rebounds to lead Oral Roberts. Freshman Max Abmas scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half. The Golden Eagles made all 16 free throws they took during the game, but were 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.
In addition to Hagedorn, South Dakota got 17 points and four assists from Triston Simpson and 13 points from Stanley Umude. Simpson averaged 18 points per game during this three-game home stand.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Lee, whose team was coming off a 23-point win against Purdue Fort Wayne Thursday. “We haven’t had that quick of a turnaround since Christmas. This is the only time we’re going to have one day to prepare until we get to the Summit League Tournament. I thought it showed a lot of toughness by our guys and that’s great to see.”
Hagedorn, the most accurate 3-point shooter in the nation entering play, made four of his six three-pointers in the first half. He and Umude combined to make five 3’s in the middle of the stanza that helped turn an early five-point deficit into a 37-28 lead five minutes before halftime. USD was 7-of-14 from downtown in the first half.
Abmas, who had averaged nearly 20 points in his previous four games, kept it close with a variety of shots early on that included two 3-pointers. He was 7-of-13 in the first half and helped make it a 45-42 deficit at the break. He was 2-of-9 in the second half.
South Dakota never trailed in the second half, but the lead didn’t grow past five until the home stretch. A layup by Brandon Armstrong with seven minutes to go ignited a 12-2 Coyote run that gave USD an 82-69 lead with four minutes left. Simpson hit a 3 from the top of the key, drove inside for a layup, and made two free throws during the run. Oral Roberts managed just a Nzekwesi put back on six possessions while USD made its move.
The Coyotes made 7-of-8 from the stripe over the final three minutes to seal their third consecutive double-digit victory. USD was 25-of-29 from the free-throw line overall.
South Dakota hits the road next week before returning to host Peru State on Feb. 4. The Coyotes are at Denver Thursday and at Omaha Sunday. USD will play five of its final eight Summit League games on the road.