Before jumping into pre-conference play, the Coyote men’s basketball team welcomed Loras College into the Sanford Coyote Sports Center for an exhibition last Friday. A crowd of 645 attended the free game, which was the first chance to watch USD basketball in the new arena. With only five players from last year returning, the exhibition offered fans a chance to see the new Coyotes.
The Coyotes put their newly eligible transfers to use right off the bat. USD started junior guard Trey Dickerson, a transfer from the University of Iowa; junior guard Carlton Hurst, a junior transfer from Colorado State; sophomore guard Matt Mooney, a transfer from Air Force; sophomore guard Trey Burch-Manning, a transfer from North Idaho College and senior forward Tyler Flack.
Other new Coyotes include freshman Jack Stensgard, junior guard Joshua Doss a transfer from Triton College; freshman guard Brandon Armstrong; freshman guard Tyler Peterson; freshman guard Brady Delimont and freshman guard Triston Simpson.
The Division III Duhawks put up a fight in the first half. After nearly going up by 10 early, the Coyotes allowed Loras to surge. The Duhawks led the Coyotes by as many as nine, before USD pulled it back and went into halftime with a six-point lead.
In the second half the Coyotes pulled away. The Loras team that shot 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep in the first half only managed 34.5 percent shooting in the second half. Meanwhile USD turned it on, shooting 58.6 percent from the field as they outscored the Duhawks 59-35 in the second half, en route to their 106-76 win.
USD was led on offense by Simpson. He totaled 20 points and three assists. He shot 5-7 from the field and 4-5 from three point range. Burch-Manning had a big game with 18 points, five assists and four steals. Flack also had a strong outing with 16 points.
Sophomore guard Demond George led the Duhawks with 23 points. Senior guard Justin VanWambeke also played well, he scored 17 and dished eight assists.
The Coyotes officially kick off their season this Friday in Des Moines, Iowa against Drake University. The South Dakota women also open their season on Friday. They will travel to Sioux Falls to face off with Southern Illinois in the Sanford Pentagon.
Both Coyote teams return home on Sunday for a double header. The women take on Stephen F. Austin at 1 p.m. and the men follow with a matchup against Bowling Green at 3:15 p.m.