Coyote Men beat Denver for 2nd straight conference win

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VERMILLION, SD (USD) – South Dakota guard Kruz Perrott-Hunt hit career highs of 25 points and eight rebounds as he led the Coyotes to an 80-71 win over Denver Thursday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

It was the second win of the week for South Dakota (9-7, 2-3 Summit), which improved to 7-2 at home this season. The Coyotes can draw even in the Summit League game on Saturday when they host Omaha (3-15, 2-5) at 4 p.m.

Perrott-Hunt led five South Dakota players who scored in double figures. Boogie Anderson, who got his second straight start in place of injured Xavier Fuller, had 12 points after recording a career-high 14 in Monday’s win at North Dakota. Hunter Goodrick followed up a 19-rebound performance on Monday with his second collegiate double-double on Thursday. Goodrick had 13 rebounds to go with 10 points.

“They (Denver) didn’t double Kruz and he scored in a lot of ways tonight,” said USD head coach Todd Lee. “He did a really good job scoring the basketball.

“Goodie is just starting to feel a lot more comfortable now after this long layoff and now we’re halfway through the season. He plays so well and does an amazing job. He had five offensive rebounds the other night and five more offensive rebounds tonight. He really helped us win those two games with his efforts.

Mason Archambault struggled through fouls but reached 10 points for USD. Erik Oliver came off the bench to add 10 more. The Coyotes totaled 18 points from a depleted bench that saw true rookie Keaton Kutcher make his college debut.

Denver (6-13, 2-4) got 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists from KJ Hunt, who entered as the Pioneers leader in each of those three categories. Jordan Johnson went 4 of 6 from beyond the arc en route to 16 points. Michael Henn took two 3s on consecutive possessions in the second half and contributed 14 points.

South Dakota led almost from start to finish to earn its eighth straight win in the series. It was a 17-1 run midway through the first half, highlighted by 10 points from Perrott-Hunt, which gave the USD a 29-13 lead. Perrott-Hunt had back-to-back three-point plays during the rally. He had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the first half.

Denver quickly cut a 44-34 halftime deficit to four and trailed for much of the game. Another 9-0 flurry midway through the second half cut USD’s lead to 11, and it’s a quick dunk from Anderson on a Goodrick sellout with 2:24 to go which seemed to complete the job. Perrott-Hunt added a jumper and made 4 of 4 from the line down the stretch to seal it.

South Dakota’s 37-28 edge on the boards and 13-4 advantage in turnovers contributed to the victory. Denver made 9 of 20 three-pointers to stay close while South Dakota made 4 of 15.

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