The University of South Dakota men’s basketball team returns to action today for another afternoon contest.
Today, the Coyotes (3-3) host Midland Lutheran (2-7), an NAIA school in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
USD is coming off a 100-65 win over Dana College yesterday, while Midland lost at home to Concordia last Tuesday.
Last season in this matchup, USD claimed an 86-64 win.
Tip-off is in 13 minutes.
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USD goes with Louie Krogman, Jake Thomas, Roman Gentry, Tyler Cain and Steve Smith.
Midland starts Jason Ahrens, Chad Langemeier, Justin Kulwicki, Zach Rosenboom and Brandon Mach.
I see USD president Jim Abbott and his wife, Collette, are in the house. We’re about ready to go from the Dome.
P&D Sports Editor James Cimburek is here shooting the game, and I told him before to watch USD’s Thomas. And so far, he’s making me look like a genius. Freshman has four threes in the first three minutes. Coyotes lead 16-4.
At the 13:13 mark, USD leads 21-13. Thomas has 12 for the Coyotes, with Krogman at five. A lot more energy early on today for the hosts, after a sluggish start yesterday.
Mitchell Bouie has given USD a quick spurt off the bench again, as the junior transfer has knocked down four free throws in the last minute. Coyotes lead Midland 25-17 at the 11:53 mark.
Again, not much crowd to speak of, but a few more stragglers then yesterday. Students are probably filtering back on campus after the holiday weekend.
Gotta say, Midland has some really good players. The Warriors are finding early success down low against the Coyotes, specifically Rosenboom (13 points) and Ahrens (12). At the under-8 timeout, USD leads 36-25. Thomas hit another three — his fifth — and now has 15 points.
Just in case people were curious, Thomas showed he can hit jumpers inside the three-point arc. He just hit back-to-back shots from about 17 feet, giving him 22 for the game. He’s definitely energizing this crowd when USD has the ball. Fans behind me keep mumbling for him to shoot at halfcourt.
Pace has slowed down a bit here in the last few minutes. USD leads 45-30 with 2:21 to go in the first half. Midland has continued to get good looks at the basket, but can’t get second chances. USD has Smith and freshman Conrad Krutwig in the game. But it looks like Cain is coming back in after the timeout.
HALF: South Dakota 51, Midland Lutheran 32.
For USD, Thomas has 22 points on 6-of-8 three-pointers. For reference sake, the school record is eight in one game (last Coyote was Derek Paben in 2003). Krogman and Bouie each have eight points.
For Midland, Ahrens and Rosenboom each have 14 points. Warriors are 1-of-7 from three-point range.
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USD’s momentum carries over in the second half, as Krogman drains a quick three. Thomas later follows with his seventh trey, and Krogman hits a layup in transition before the first timeout. Coyotes lead 65-38 at the 15:11 mark.
Thomas hits another one, giving him eight for the game. And on the next trip down, misses one, with the crowd rising up. USD up 72-42.
This kid is on fire right now. At the top of the key, Thomas hits another one, setting a new school record with nine. He actually needed the rim on that one. Running back down court, he raised his arms in the air and smiled at the USD bench.
At the 7:51 mark, Coyotes are up 86-54. Krogman has four three-pointers himself, 16 for the game. Things have gotten out of hand for Midland Lutheran, if you can’t tell…..
Coyotes have four reserves in the game, with Krogman the lone starter. USD leads 99-65 at the 3:34 mark.
I’ll be back after the game with some Larry King-style thoughts.
FINAL: South Dakota 104, Midland Lutheran 71.
Coyotes finish with five players in double figures — Thomas (31), Krogman (18), Bouie (15), Cain (13) and Krutwig (10). Team hit 14 three-pointers, 13 from the tandem of Thomas and Krogman. Watertown native Dustin Tetzlaff finishes with 10 rebounds off the bench.
Final Thoughts — Have I said Jake Thomas can shoot?….Today was more consistent in both halves for the Coyotes, 51 points in the first half, 53 in the second….USD out-rebounded Midland 50-30….Warriors will beat some good teams in the GPAC this season, mark it down….Coyotes move to 4-3.