A trip to Allen Fieldhouse, home to the best team in the nation, Kansas, ended in
Sophomore Stanley Umude scored a career-high 28 points—over half of USD’s total—on 10-for-17 shooting, adding a team-high six rebounds and four assists.
“He was, without question, the best player on the floor tonight,” Kansas head coach Bill Self, who has led the Jayhawks to 14 consecutive Big 12 titles and a national championship, said of Umude. “Like I said on my radio show, he doesn’t have to score the next three games to keep his average. He killed us.”
Junior Tyler Peterson followed Umude with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
“[Peterson] brings it every night, it’s just disappointing some of the guys had the night they had. Obviously you can’t do that against a really good team,” USD head coach Todd Lee said.
Four Jayhawks registered double-digit figures on a night where the team shot 51.5 percent from the field. Junior forward Dedric Lawson, who leads his team with 20.1 points per game, earned his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Senior guard Legerald Vick and freshman forward David McCormack both recorded 12 points.
Sophomore guard Charlie Moore led Kansas with 18 points off the bench. All nine of his shots came from behind the arc, and six of those met the net. Funny for a player, who, before Tuesday, had only made three three-pointers in 22 attempts this season.
“I told [Moore] afterwards I’m glad he figured it out. Hopefully he keeps shooting the ball well,” Lee said.
Kansas (10-0) started hot, orchestrating a 9-0 run in the first five minutes of the game before the Coyote offense gained footing under 14 first-half points from Umude. USD (6-6) shot 45.8 percent, but gave the ball away 12 times and allowed six
“We kind of gave that first half away,” Lee said. “Not getting any offense, turning the ball over, taking some bad shots.”
USD shrunk the deficit to seven points five minutes into the second half, around the same time Moore caught fire from long range. Kansas finished the game with a 30-6 run, spurred by a 64.5 second half shooting percentage, where 17 of their points came off of USD turnovers.
“It’s hard to be in transition defense the entire night. Their athleticism is going to take over,” Lee said. “They’re bigger than us and more athletic. We gotta be able to run offense and we can’t be in transition all night. Eventually it wore us out.”
In four of his last six games, Umude has scored 15 points or more. In his first six games, he hadn’t eclipsed ten points. “Attack mode”, he calls it. Luckily for him, he entered it in front of a crowd of 16,000.
“It’s good for Stan to have a game like that and show that he can play against good players. He does have ability, so that’s good to see,” Lee said.
Umude and Peterson accounted for all but ten of USD’s points. On the flipside, eight of nine Jayhawks who saw minutes posted points.
“I think that would bode well for them moving forward if they can get production,” said Self about the Coyote offense. “They’ll be a lot better offensively if they can figure out their balance.”
The Coyotes have played the No. 1 team in the nation in back-to-back years. Last December, USD met then No. 1 Duke, losing 96-80. Peterson said his team didn’t compete as well as last year’s outing, but they did pick up a few things from the best-of-the-best.
“I think we got better in the aspect that we see what’s out there,” Peterson said. “Seeing a good team like that, it’s going to push us to get better and it really pointed out the flaws that we have right now. From not being able to get set on offense to just competing the whole game. I think trying to build off that going into conference play should help us do well.”
The Coyotes return to Vermillion to take on Southern Mississippi (7-3) at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. After that, Summit League play begins against at North Dakota State on Dec. 28.