Horizon Favorite Green Bay Rallies Past USD
VERMILLION, SD — Green Bay rebounded from an early 14-point deficit to earn an 89-85 decision against South Dakota inside the DakotaDome Saturday night. Phoenix point guard Keifer Sykes scored a game-high 23 points to lead five Green Bay players in double figures.
South Dakota (3-7) got 19 points from Brandon Bos and 16 points and eight rebounds from Trevor Gruis. Trey Norris and Casey Kasperbauer added 14 points each. The Coyotes have lost four in a row by a combined total of 15 points.
The preseason favorite to win the Horizon League, Green Bay (6-3) made 19 of 35 field goals in the second half (54 percent) and totaled 14 second-chance points to erase a 44-37 halftime deficit. Jordan Fouse had 11 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Alec Brown, the Phoenix’s 7-foot-1 senior center, blocked five shots to go with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
South Dakota scored the game’s first eight points and led 21-7 at the under-12 media timeout. Five different Coyotes contributed to the run. The Phoenix missed their first six shots and started 3 of 13 from the field. They made nearly half their shots the rest of the way.
Casey Kasperbauer came off the bench and scored 14 of the ’Yotes 15 points during the next six minutes. He had a steal-and-score to get on the board, hit a 3, converted a three-point play at the line after hitting a long jumper and knocked down two more treys during the rally. Kasperbauer was 5 of 6 in the opening stanza and led all scorers at the break.
Seven straight points by Green Bay to open the second half tied the game for the first time and forced USD to call an early timeout. It was 52-50 South Dakota with 15 minutes left when the Phoenix went on a 10-0 run to take the lead for good. Fouse’s tip-in off his own miss completed the run.
South Dakota trailed 74-63 with six minutes to go and got within three, 86-83, with 19.1 seconds left after Norris completed a three-point play. Green Bay turned it over on the ensuing inbounds pass, but Fouse stole the ball right back and Sykes threw ahead to a wide open Greg Mays for an easy two.
After Bos countered with a layup, Sykes made the second of two free throws with four seconds left to seal the win. Green Bay was 21 of 29 from the free-throw line for 72 percent. The Coyotes were 28 of 35 for 80 percent.
Green Bay outscored USD 42-28 in the paint and came away with 18 offensive rebounds. Sykes scored two points above his average on 7 of 17 shooting and had six rebounds and five assists. Mays finished with 15 points while Carrington Love came off the bench to score 11.
South Dakota closes out December with road trips to Morehead State (Dec. 19) and Youngstown State (Dec. 29). The Coyotes open January with five consecutive home games starting with Cal State Northridge on Jan. 2.
Courtesy: University of South Dakota