SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After narrowly missing out on the Summit League regular season title, South Dakota will now focus on winning its first-ever men’s Summit League tournament title when the Coyotes tip-off in the late game at 8:45 p.m. Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon.
The No. 2 Coyotes (13-10, 11-4 SL) will take on No. 7 Western Illinois (7-14, 5-9 SL).
South Dakota enters the postseason without starting point guard A.J. Plitzuweit, who suffered a season-ending injury in the second to last game of the season. Plitzuweit, a former Vermillion standout, averaged 19 points and led the team in 3-pointers made (52) and assists (86).
Senior Stanley Umude leads the Coyotes with 21.4 points per game and 6.9 rebounds a game. Alongside Umude, South Dakota will seek contributions from Xavier Fuller, Kruz Perrott-Hunt, Tasos Kamateros and Mason Archambault.
The Coyotes average 75.6 points per game and hold opponents to 72 points per game, while Western Illinois averaged 73.2 points per game and allowed 79 points per game.
Senior Will Carius leads the Leathernecks with an average of 14.9 points per game, while junior Tamell Pearson averages 10.7 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game.
KELOLAND News will have coverage throughout the Summit League men’s and women’s basketball championships on the Summit League webpage. You can find stories, live blogs during games, livestreams of post-game news conferences and daily highlights from the action on Heritage Court.
The winner will take on the winner of No. 3 North Dakota State/No. 6 Denver in the semifinals at 8:45 p.m. Monday.