SALT LAKE CITY, UT (USD) – South Dakota earned a massive result Saturday in Salt Lake City Utah, outlasting BYU 69-68 inside Vivint Arena behind a career-high 26 points from Kruz Perrott-Hunt. Both USD’s and BYU’s records moved to 5-4 overall.
The first meeting between the two schools ended up an instant classic. South Dakota won its second neutral site game this season over a BYU team that entered the game ranked 20th in the latest mid-major poll. The game came down to the final shot at the buzzer that landed off the mark for the Cougars.
It was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams at the midway point of first half. At the 10:33 mark of the game, South Dakota owned a two-point lead. From that point on, the Coyotes went on an offensive splurge to close out the first half. USD led by as much as 19 down the stretch and entered the locker room with a 15-point advantage.
Mark Pope’s squad cut the lead down to 11 with four consecutive free-throws out of the break. South Dakota went on a 9-0 run after that to push the lead to 20 off a Perrott-Hunt jumper. After BYU knocked the lead down to 14, the Coyotes netted three-straight three-pointers on their end to give them the biggest lead of the night at 21 points at exactly the halfway point of the second half. South Dakota then went cold for the remainder of the game. USD scored nine points the rest of the game, all off free-throws. The Cougars crawled all the way back and managed to cut the lead down to single-digits less than four minutes later. BYU made it a one-possession game after a pair of free-throws from Fousseyni Traore with 23 seconds left. The 21-point lead was trimmed to one with seven seconds on the clock and chance for BYU to steal the game. Rudi Williams pulled-up for a three-pointer at the top of the key that was too strong off the glass and allowed South Dakota to walk away with a one-point win.
Perrott-Hunt had one of his best shooting performances of the season in the NBA arena. The junior went 7-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from the three-point line. Most importantly, Perrott-Hunt knocked down all eight of his free-throw attempts. Paul Bruns was the second Coyote in double-digit with 15 points in his third start. Bruns shot 40 percent from the field and made 3-of-7 from the arc. Tasos Kamateros dropped nine points on 3-of-5 shooting and 50 percent from three. Damani Hayes added five points. Bruns, Kamateros, and Hayes all tied for the team-lead with six rebounds on the day.
As a team, South Dakota shot nearly 45 percent from the floor and 61.5 percent from three in the first 20 minutes. The Coyotes finished at 42 percent shooting and 52 percent from three. USD shot 71 percent from the free-throw line.
The Cougars had three players in double-figures led by Rudi Williams’ 20 points. Dallin Hall scored 14 points and Traore scored 12 points for BYU. The Coyotes limited the Cougars to 34 percent shooting and 21 percent from the three-point line.
South Dakota closes out the west road-trip on Tuesday at Air Force. The Coyotes and Falcons are scheduled to tip-off at 3 p.m. MT (4 p.m. CT) from Colorado Springs, Colorado. It will be the final road game for USD in the non-conference slate.