VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota guard Tyler Peterson scored a season-high 15 points and Tyler Hagedorn added 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Coyotes to a 71-56 win against the SIUE Cougars Monday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
The win keeps South Dakota unbeaten at 5-0 while the Cougars fell to 2-3. It is the second time in four seasons that USD has won its first five games.
Stanley Umude added 14 points and Triston Simpson netted 12 as South Dakota had four starters score in double figures. SIUE got 15 points from guard Zeke Moore and 13 points and six rebounds off the bench from Mike Adewunmi.
The Coyotes were shooting a nation-leading 56 percent from 3-point range entering play Monday, but on a night in which those long shots weren’t falling, it was solid defense that produced the win. South Dakota held SIUE without a field goal for an eight-minute stretch in the first half, and for stretches of five minutes and four minutes within the second half.
“You knew we weren’t going to go 16-of-23 from the three like we did the other night,” said USD head coach Todd Lee. “I told our guys that really good teams find different ways to win, and tonight, it was at the defensive end. Toughness, we took charges, and held them to 37 percent shooting. We didn’t shoot the ball well, but I thought Tyler Hagedorn on the boards was big.”
South Dakota took its first double-digit lead, 45-35, on an Umude jumper during one of those SIUE droughts with 11:32 left to play in the second half. SIUE got as close as six from that point, but a layup by Peterson followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from the corner from Brandon Armstrong near three minutes to go broke the Cougars’ back.
Armstrong’s triples were the only two USD made in the second half and the Coyotes were 5-of-17 from downtown for the game. Hagedorn, who had made 11 consecutive 3’s in his prior two games, upped the streak to 12 before finally missing one. Now he’s only shooting a nation’s-best 84 percent from 3-point range this season (16-for-19).
Fortunately, the Cougars couldn’t capitalize. They made just 4 of 14 from long range and half of those came during the game’s first six minutes.
Peterson set the pace from the outset, scoring South Dakota’s first eight points all in the paint near the basket. He totaled 10 in the first stanza and didn’t miss a shot. He finished 6-of-7 from the field and also led USD with three assists.
“He did a great job early,” said Lee. “We ran some stuff for him to get the ball to him. TP is really strong in the post. If you get somebody his size or a little bit smaller in the post, it’s hard for those guys to guard him. He got off early and we ran a few things for him to get the ball near the basket and he finished.”
The game, like Friday night’s against Texas Southern, was part of the Collegiate Hoops Roadshow presented by AtmosAir. South Dakota’s third and final game of the tournament is at 8 p.m. Friday against Arkansas in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks of the SEC are 3-0 heading into Tuesday night’s matchup at home against Texas Southern.