The Coyotes (13-8, 4-2 Summit) hosted the Fort Wayne Mastodons (14-5, 3-2 Summit) for another big game at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center Saturday afternoon.
The Coyotes were lead by sophomore guard Matt Mooney as he scored a career-high 30 points (4-7 3-ptr, 10-15 FT). After slightly struggling in the previous game, including missing two straight free throws with 28 seconds left, he was hoping to come back strong.
“Wednesday night I felt like I let the team and myself down,” Mooney said. “I tried not to think about the missed opportunity and come in with the right mentality, and tonight I stepped up to make those plays.”
While Mooney had 15 points in both halves, sophomore forward Tyler Hagedorn had all 15 of his points in the second half, including two 3-pointers and five free throws.
Coach Craig Smith spoke highly of his players after winning when down by eight points at halftime, and as much as 12 shortly after the half.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our effort, especially after losing a tough one last game,” Smith said. “We recruit character and I think it really shows our character when we are able to compose ourselves as a team and come back in games like this.”
Smith also spoke of Hagedorn, saying he has made a big difference and couldn’t be more proud of him stepping up the way he has.
With the win on Saturday, the Coyotes move into second place in the Summit League standings. The start of the season matches USD’s best in Summit League play at 4-2.
The Coyotes’ next game is at Oral Roberts on Jan. 18.