After securing a 76-58 win against Denver Monday night, the Coyote men advance to the Summit League Finals for the first time in program history.
The men take on rival and top-seeded South Dakota State University for the championship title.
The Coyotes held off the Pioneers throughout the entirety of the game, only letting the Pioneers close the lead once. The Coyotes had a 12-0 run that the Pioneers couldn’t keep up with, and never came out on top again. The Coyotes were scoring and defending well, something the Pioneers struggled with throughout the game.
Junior Matt Mooney had 20 points in the game, finishing 8-of-10 from the field. Sophomore Triston Simpson scored 11 points, and junior Tyler Hagedorn added 10 for the Coyotes. The Coyotes shot 52 percent from the paint. Mooney added three assists to the board. Junior Trey Burch-Manning and senior Nick Fuller added six rebounds a piece.
Mooney said at a press conference the team knows SDSU will play “their best effort.”
“We’ve had a bad taste in our mouths for a year (March 6, 2017 loss to SDSU), this is what we’ve been working towards — to get back to this moment, to get to the championship game and to get to the NCAA championship,” Mooney said. “It’s gonna be a fight, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Mooney said the team is looking for redemption after their loss against SDSU in the conference championship.
“They’re the other best team in the league,” Mooney said. “You want a shot at the team that knocked you out. It should be fun.”
Sophomore Triston Simpson said he’s looking forward to Tuesday’s game.
“It really has that rivalry atmosphere,” he said.
The Coyotes face off SDSU at 8 p.m. in the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.