USD Men Fall Flat In Loss To Fort Wayne
The home portion of the South Dakota regular season ended with a thud Saturday, as the Coyotes were outshot, outrebounded, and outplayed by Fort Wayne in a 64-51 loss.
The defeat was the fourth straight in the DakotaDome for USD, their eighth in nine games overall, and drops them into a tie for seventh place with two Summit League games left.
Mastodon senior Frank Gaines, playing in his final game in Vermillion, got off to a fast start with 15 of his game high 22 points in the first half. On the night, Gaines was nine-of-13 shooting, with three three-pointers, and five rebounds.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, were suffering through one of the worst halves of basketball of the season in the first 20 minutes, hitting just seven-of-23 (30%), missing all four free throws they attempted, turning the ball over eight times, and allowing IPFW to go on a 12-2 run to end the half with a 36-17 lead.
USD did play much better in the second half, thanks in large part to Trevor Gruis. The junior center scored ten of his team-high 12 points in the second half, as the Coyotes shot 44 percent in the second 20 minutes, turning the ball over just twice. But South Dakota could get no closer than 11 before Fort Wayne put the game out of reach for good with a 21-11 run midway through the second half.
Senior Juevol Myles hot and cold shooting was downright frigid Saturday night. The Coyotes leading scorer made just two of the 11 shots he took, none of the five he attempted from behind the three-point arc, finishing with ten points.
South Dakota has a BracketBuster date at Montana State next Saturday before closing out the regular season at IUPUI and Western Illinois the following week.