After the first three games of the 2014 Summit League season, the South Dakota Coyotes were on top of the world, starting with three straight wins at home.

But three straight losses later, USD has dropped to the middle of the pack, heading into Saturday afternoon's match-up with in-state rival South Dakota State in Vermillion.

Especially difficult to swallow for the Coyotes is how the last two games have played out, both losses, both by four points or less, and both with USD having the basketball late with a chance to win.

That was the case in Omaha last Saturday as an Adam Thoesby 3-pointer just missed in the final seconds, and happened again Thursday at home against North Dakota State, where the Coyotes had chances at the free throw line and behind the 3-point arc late, but couldn't convert.

South Dakota Corn Utilization Council

The Coyotes welcome South Dakota State to the DakotaDome Saturday, knowing that they've held serve at home against the Jackrabbits each of the last two seasons.

USD coach Joey James knows, even with the loss of Nate Wolters, when you go against SDSU, you go against a veteran team:

Tipoff is 4:00pm Saturday in Vermillion.