South Dakota loses nail biter to North Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. ( – The South Dakota Coyotes fell to North Dakota 75-71 after 40 minutes of back-and-forth basketball inside the Sanford Pentagon. The loss drops the Yotes to 0-4 on the season.

South Dakota forward Stanley Umude took matters into his own hands in the second half, finishing with 30 points on 12-of-25 shooting and grabbed five rebounds on the night. The 30 points is a season-high for Umude and two points shy of a career high. Teammate Xavier Fuller took advantage of his first career start and poured in a season-high 15 points.

For the Fighting Hawks (1-3), Filip Rebraca recorded 26 points and grabbed six boards. Three other UND players recorded double figures on the night.

USD led for most of the first half until UND came back to tie things up at 25 all with four minutes and change remaining before the intermission. UND’s hot streak continued as the Coyotes fell cold. After an A.J. Plitzuweit layup with 3:24 left, the Coyotes didn’t score again until the 38 second mark and went into the intermission with a 35-29 deficit.

In the second half, UND extended its lead to 10 points in the opening minutes. Fuller would be the guy to start the comeback after converting an and-one and splashing home a three from the corner to make things cut UND’s lead to 40-37 with 16:26 left.

A 3-pointer from Umude off a UND turnover made it 52-51 North Dakota with just under 10 minutes to go. The teams traded buckets and the lead for the rest of the game.

With 29 seconds remaining, Fuller was called for a foul that sent Seybian Sims to the line where he made both to give the Fighting Hawks a 72-70 lead. After an ensuing timeout from head coach Todd Lee, the Yotes drew up a play to get a score to tie things up. Umude drove from the left wing and put up a floater that went in and out. UND gathered the rebound and secured the win with free throws in the final seconds.

USD shot a season-high 45 percent from the field and went 8-of-21 from deep for 38.1 percent. The Yotes grabbed 30 rebounds and recorded 38 points in the paint compared to UND’s 30.

UND shot 48.1 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from 3-point range (5-of-19). The Hawks grabbed 37 rebounds and dished out eight assists on the night. The game featured seven ties and six lead changes with UND having the largest lead at 10 points.

The Coyotes are back in action for game two of the CU Mortgage Direct Dakota Showcase at 8 p.m. against North Dakota State.