GREELEY, Colo. (USD) — Northern Colorado made 8-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final minute to hold off a surging South Dakota squad 74-69 inside the Bank of Colorado Arena. 

South Dakota (5-4) fought back from a 14-point second-half deficit to take the lead with less than six minutes to play. Northern Colorado (6-5) wins its third-straight game at home with the help of crucial free-throw shooting and playmaking by senior Daylen Kountz. 

Three Coyotes finished in double-figures for the game led by Mason Archambault’s 14. Xavier Fuller pitched in 13 points and Hunter Goodrick added 10. All nine Coyote players to check into the game scored, with USD’s bench accounting for 19 points. 

Kountz finished with 24 points for the Bears, while Matt Johnson also tallied a 20-point game with 21. Bodie Hume joined them in double-figures with 10 points. 

The two squads traded baskets early, but it was Northern Colorado who led 35-27 at the half and a few quick 3-pointers extended the Bears lead to 52-38 with just under 12 minutes to play. 

The next six minutes were crucial for the Coyotes in getting back into the game. South Dakota went on a 17-2 run during the stretch, knocking down 7-of-8 from the field led by nine points from Archambault. Archambault gave USD its first second-half lead, 55-54, after making a pair from the stripe. 

Kountz ended the Coyote run with five successive points for the Bears, however a 3-pointer from Fuller and a hook shot by Tasos Kamateros tied it back up at 59-all entering the final media timeout. 

The Bears again strung together seven-straight points – a pair of free-throws from Dylan Knecht, who was substituted into the free-throw line for teammate Kur Jongkuch due to a missing contact lens, another 3-pointer from Kountz and a layup by Johnson – to pull away. 

South Dakota found ways to answer in the final minute, hunting down shots in a hurry and quickly fouling to regain possession, but the Bears went 8-of-8 from the stripe down the stretch to hold them off and win 74-69. 

The Coyotes shot a season-high against a Division I opponent of 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from the field. The Bears gained the edge at the line, making 17-of-26 from the stripe for the game compared to the Coyotes’ 3-of-5 at the stripe. 

South Dakota returns home to the friendly confines of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center for a four-game stretch. USD hosts Northern Arizona at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Vermillion.