LIVE: USD men vs. Dana

Another gorgeous day in South Dakota. Holy cow. Are you kidding me? We’ve been spoiled over the holiday weekend, without question. It’s been a while since it hasn’t either snowed or been around 30 degrees on Thanksgiving.

Anyway, enough about that.

We’ve got a basketball game to discuss.

The University of South Dakota men (2-3) begin a three-game homestand today against NAIA Dana College (2-6), of the GPAC. Last season in this matchup, USD won 94-58, a year after beating the Vikings 96-61.

Tip-off is in 9 minutes. I’ll be back for in-game updates. And remember to check my Twitter page for other goodies.

— — — —

Starting lineups.

USD goes with Louie Krogman, Jake Thomas, Roman Gentry, Tyler Cain and Steve Smith.

Dana starts P.J. Mallette, Jake Brandl, Danny Petersen, Tristan Washington and Chris Walker.

It’s go time.

Quick start for both sides. A trio of three-pointers for USD and the Coyotes lead 9-8. Dana’s Washington has five quick points.

Krogman hits Smith underneath for a dunk on a no-look pass, giving USD a 15-10 cushion. But right before the first media timeout, Dana’s Washington hits a runner, pulling the Vikings with 15-12 with 14:58 left in the half.

One of the USD guys I’m keeping my eye on is Jake Thomas, the freshman from Racine, Wis. He’s averaging 11.2 points early on this season. Word is, he can hit from deep….we’re taking the second eye on the Coyote logo way pas the three-point line.

Coyotes break a short lull with a Cain layup down low. USD leads 19-16 at the 11:58 mark, with some bench players in the game. Dana has come out calm, which I imagine is big in a situation like this. Some NAIA teams I’ve watched in the Dome have tried to do a lot right away.

Krogman leads USD with 5 points, with Cain and Smith both at 4. Thomas has four early rebounds.

USD’s Mitchell Bouie, a transfer from Western Oklahoma State, has three points off the bench, but Dana is within 25-20 at the 9:20 mark.

A three-pointer by Mallette and a layup by Washington enables Dana to tie the game at 27-27, prompting a USD timeout at the 7:21 mark. Vikings have come out with a ton of energy, to their credit.

USD’s Cain is headed to the line with the Coyotes up 29-27 at the under-8 media timeout.

Not much of a crowd to speak of today, but remember, it’s still the holiday weekend and the weather is gorgeous (I thought I was done with that…..). But the usual USD folks are here. I’ve heard P.J. Maloney yell more than once across the way at his courtside seat.

Whatever USD coach Dave Boots said at that last timeout has paid off. The Coyotes are up 40-29 after Thomas drained a three in transition, prompting a Dana timeout. USD has picked up the intensity the last few minutes. Evidence? On the first play out of the timeout, USD’s Bouie gets a steal, drives down court, tries a dunk attempt but is fouled.

Media timeout. USD leads 40-29 with 3:23 left in the first half.

HALF: South Dakota 46, Dana 33.

First-half stats: Cain leads USD 12 points, while Bouie has 9 and Krogman has 7. Thomas has six points and five rebounds. Coyotes shot 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from the field, with four three-pointers.

For Dana, Washington has 11 points, with Walker and Alex McCleary both at 6. Vikings shot 42.9 percent (15-of-35), with 3 three-pointers. Biggest disparity was at the free throw line. USD is 8-of-11, while Dana has yet to get to the charity stripe.

— — — —

Thomas has five early points for USD in the second half, giving him 11 for the game. Krogman has four points in the half, and also has 11 for the game.

Dana has been able to move the ball against the USD zone, but has either passed up semi-open shots or not found the mark. Vikings have had some looks down low, but the size of the D-I Coyotes has been disruptive.

USD up 59-39 with 15:57 to play.

Thomas has hit 3 threes in the second half, the last one from waaaaaaay out. Fans will love this kid if he can hit those. One of the assistant coaches told me earlier Thomas is a “program-changer.” Coyotes up 71-45.

(In other action, the FCS playoff football game between SDSU and Montana is tied at 48, with 4 to play….)

Things have gotten out of hand here, as USD leads 88-49 with 7:08 to play. Four Coyotes are in double figures, led by Cain’s 18 points — putting him over 1,000 in his career.

All 10 USD players have now scored in this game. Watertown native Dustin Tetzlaff just hit a layup. USD leads 93-56 with 5:21 to play.

I’ll be back after the game with some quick thoughts.

FINAL: South Dakota 100, Dana 65

Few quick thoughts, in Larry King style — Cain eclipses 1,000 points for his career….all 10 USD players scored in the game….Yes, Thomas can definitely shoot…..I really like the energy Kendall Cutler and Mitch Bouie bring off the bench….USD plays really long, wingspan-wise….Krogman, the team’s point guard, grabbed 10 rebounds…..Coyotes host Midland Lutheran tomorrow (Sunday)

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