The Coyote men’s basketball team defeated state rival South Dakota State University Jackrabbits with a final score of 87-68.
Wednesday night the Jackrabbits traveled to Vermillion for the state rival game, which ended with SDSU’s spot at the top of the Summit League being handed over to Coyotes. Head coach Craig Smith said the game was a “heck of a win for the Yotes.”
Sophomore Triston Simpson became a rising offensive star on the court with a season high of 20 points.
“(Simpon’s) shooting numbers in some of our shooting drills that we do have definitely gotten up the last eight to 10 days, and it showed tonight,” Smith said.
Junior Matt Mooney said the team overcame SDSU’s “high octane offense.”
“They’re a team that you have to switch up your game plan, but the key is when you check in the game, everybody’s locked in what’s your job and what you’re doing,” Mooney said.
Memories of last year’s game in Brookings motivated Mooney in Wednesday night’s game, he said.
“They ended our season last year, so that’s all I was thinking about all day is that feeling they gave us last year when we lost to them,” Mooney said. “We used that as fuel.”
Both Mooney and Smith said it was important to have the Sanford Coyote Sports Center filled with Coyote fans.
“To me, there’s a direct correlation with attendance and home winning percentage,” Smith said.
High scorers for the Coyotes were Mooney with 30 points, Simpson with 20 and Nick Fuller with 11 points. For SDSU, Mike Daum lead with 18 points and Skyler Flatten and Tevin King both scored 14.
The women’s basketball team also found success against the Jackrabbits, with a win of 67-61.
The Coyote women travelled to Frost Arena on Jan. 25 for the state rival game. Going into the game the Coyotes held the no. 1 Summit League ranking, giving SDSU the opportunity to take that title.
Head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said that the team looked at how SDSU scored in their past games to strategize their defense.
Leading the Coyotes in points was Senior Kate Liveringhouse with 20, followed by Sophomore Ciara Duffy with 17 and Junior Allison Arens with 13.
Redshirt senior Jasmine Trimboli said it was difficult playing against the SDSU crowd.
“I think the team did a really good job of staying composed,” Trimboli said. “It’s always tough….the crowd going crazy and everything, cheering against us. We had really good composure.”
The women’s team also beat Denver on Jan. 27, 82-60 and still are still first place in the Summit League. On Feb. 1 they will take on Western Illinois at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.