In front of a statewide TV audience, the University of South Dakota men’s basketball team scored its biggest Division I home win on Wednesday with the 80-70 victory over Wyoming.
Since moving to the D-I level, the Coyotes (3-4) have been longing for the days when they can lure notable opponents to the DakotaDome.
Last season USD hung tough with Cornell — a Sweet 16 team — and Morehead State, but ultimately fell short in both. On Wednesday, however, the Coyotes got their notable win.
Even just looking at Wyoming during warmups, you could see there was a significant size advantage. The Cowboys were not only tall — with starters at 6-8, 6-9 and 6-10 — but they were long and fast at every position. That was a Wyoming team that ranked in the top 10 nationally last year in free throw attempts. In other words, they like to pound the paint and attack the glass.
And so, to see USD hold its own in the rebounding category, the final tally was 35-35, was more than impressive. The two starting post players for the Coyotes, Ricardo Andreotti and Trevor Gruis, fared pretty well in that aspect, but it was the defense from other sources that kept USD in front for most of the game. The energy from the DakotaDome crowd seemed to fuel the USD players, especially over the final minutes, when the Coyotes recorded a series of stops in a row — one of which led to that massive dunk by Charlie Westbrook.
And of course, there was Louie Krogman. That was easily the biggest game of his college career. His teammates were making the extra pass to swing him the ball, and when he wasn’t spotting up for threes, he was making things happen. That’s the thing about Louie; he can create his own shots.
So now that the dust has settled, USD will look forward to Saturday’s road game at Wisconsin. Though it’ll quite a bit, performances like Wednesday are evidence that when USD is on, they can hung with some quality teams.