Summit League Preview: South Dakota Men Host Western Illinois, at Denver
The Coyotes begin the week at home tonight (January 25) with the lone team they have yet to see in conference play this season - Western Illinois
The Leathernecks (6-12/3-4) have lost three straight, but feature the always dangerous Garret Covington. The all-conference senior guard is second in the Summit in scoring and free throw percentage, fourth in three-point shooting. Covington averaged better than 25 points a game when WIU started 3-1 in conference play, but has scored just 14 a game during the Leathernecks' current skid.
Senior forward Mike Miklusak is averaging 16 points per game. He is the Summit 's leading rebounder after seven conference games. Sophomore center Brandon Gilbeck leads the conference with 48 blocked shots
As a team, Western is tops on the defensive glass and in blocks, second in three-point shooting, and fourth in fewest turnovers.
Tipoff is 7:00 PM in Vermillion.
Saturday (January 28), the Coyotes open the second half of league play when they travel to Denver.
The Pioneers (12-8/4-3) enter the week tied with USD for second place in the Summit. They feature a young team with no seniors in the starting lineup for new head coach Rodney Billups.
Guard Joe Rosga (16 points per game), center Daniel Amigo (15 points per game), and forward C.J. Bobbitt (10 points per game) all average in double figures. Rosga is the the top ten in the league in assists and fewest turnovers. Amigo is fifth in field goal percentage and sixth in rebounding.
As a team, Denver is the most accurate shooting team (50.4%) in the Summit League. They also league the conference in assists and are second in rebounding.
South Dakota won the first meeting (January 4 in Denver), 75-69, in a game that featured 14 lead changes and eight ties. The USD defense limited the Pioneers to 2-of-9 shooting and four turnovers in the final six minutes, while sealing the win with nine free throws in the final minute.
Matt Mooney had 23 points to lead the Coyotes.
Tipoff is 3:15 PM (CT) in Denver.
Last Wednesday (January 18), South Dakota dropped its second game in three tries with a 90-80 loss at Oral Roberts. Albert Owens lead the Golden Eagles with 21 points, while guard Aaron Anderson had career highs in points (20) and rebounds (10).
The Coyotes had a three-point halftime lead, but Oral Roberts scored 52 points in the second half, on 16-of-29 shooting (55%). ORU also was plus-seven on the glass.