Summit League Men’s Preview: North Dakota State at South Dakota
After coming up empty on their first Summit League trip away from Vermillion in 2014, South Dakota is back home this week trying to regroup, as the welcome North Dakota State and South Dakota State to close out the first half of the conference schedule.
The Coyotes are one of two teams 3-2 after three weeks, tied for third in the Summit League. Head coach Joey James told me his group is discouraged after back-to-back losses on the road last week:
Thursday night against Western Illinois, USD had no answer for the Leathernecks sharp shooting, as WIU shot 62% from the floor, including 7-of-10 3-pointers and 16-of-18 from the free-throw line, leading by as many as 24, and winning by 18.
Western Illinois was led by freshman Garret Covington's 21 points. The Leathernecks were especially effective on defense shutting down USD center Trevor Gruis, holding him without a basket until nearly three minutes were gone in the second half.
Coach James on the Western Illinois loss:
The Coyotes played a much more competitive game in Omaha Saturday, but came up four points short to the Mavericks. Down two with five seconds left, Adam Thoesby missed a three-pointer that would have given USD the lead late, it was one of 12 misses in 15 tries for the Coyotes from behind the arc.
Trey Norris sat out the Omaha game with an ankle injury and Tyler Larson filled in effectively, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the first half. Coach James on the Omaha loss:
Thursday, the Coyotes welcome the top shooting team in the nation in North Dakota State. The Bison lead Division I hitting 52 percent from the floor - just a tick lower - 51 percent in league games.
NDSU is one of two teams that stand 4-1 after three weeks of conference play.
Coach James says the status of Trey Norris' ankle is still being evaluated for the game Thursday:
Tipoff is Thursday at 7:00pm in Vermillion.