Coyote’s men pull away in final minutes to take down Kansas City – Mitchell Republic
SIOUX FALLS — The University of South Dakota saved its biggest and best run for late Sunday night.
A 13-1 run in the final 5 minutes propelled the Coyotes into the semifinals of the Summit League tournament with a quarterfinal win over fourth-seeded Kansas City in a 74-61 triumph at the First Center.
The semifinal pending will be arch-rival South Dakota State (28-4) at 6 p.m. Monday night, with SDSU winning the first two matchups this season.
“They’ve had us twice but we’ll be ready for (Monday night),” USD coach Todd Lee said.
Five Coyotes (19-11) scored in double figures, as the Coyotes made late plays on the offensive end to retire, while Kansas City finished Game 1 for 12 from the field and did not not made a field goal after a lay-up from star goalkeeper Evan Gilyard II with 5:34 to go.
This lay-up reduced the margin to 61-60 in favor of the USD. On the next possession, Kruz Perrott-Hunt had a lopsided three-point play that earned the USD four points.
The attack proved harder to come by in the final minutes, but the USD managed to convert. Leading by five, Perrott-Hunt had an acrobatic layup to put the Coyotes ahead 68-61 with 58 seconds left and after a defensive stoppage, Tasos Kamateros had two free throws. Boogie Anderson converted a quick steal into an exclamation mark on the win for USD, converting a steal with 34 seconds left with a big one-handed slam to ignite the Coyote faithful.
Kamateros had a team-high 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Coyotes, who improved to 19-11. Mason Archambault and Hunter Goodrick each had 14, with 13 points from Perrott-Hunt. USD was rock solid at the free throw line, converting 19 of 21 free throws in the win, including 13 of 14 in the second half.
South Dakota, which led 38-33 at halftime, lost the previous two meetings with the Roos by 9 and 11 points respectively. The Coyotes received a key boost from Goodrick, the 6-foot-7 sophomore Aussie, scoring 10 of his 14 first-half points.
Marvin Nesbitt Jr. had 19 points for the Roos (19-12). Gilyard, who was the conference newcomer of the year, was limited to just 11 points in 39 minutes of playing time on 3-for-13 shooting, which Lee said was a big achievement.
“Once we got up it was like (Kansas City) was in a rush and took some unusual shots,” Lee said.
Lee mentioned the game plan against Roos, trying to keep Kansas City in a half-court offense, rather than running down the field. That could be a useful tactic against the Jackrabbits, the 19-game winners in a row who are scoring 87.2 points per game.
“I can’t wait,” Goodrick said of meeting the Jackrabbits. “It’s going to be fun. It’s so simple.”