Trailing by 18 points with 16-and-a-half minutes left, USD stormed back to take the lead, only to fall in overtime to Omaha 107-102 at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls Thursday night.
The Coyotes started the second half cold after being down seven at intermission. The lead grew to 18 for the Mavericks by the 16-and-a-half minute mark. Freshman Matt Jons nailed a 3-pointer to start a 16-5 run lasting three minutes. The Coyotes continued to slowly chip at the lead until taking it at 65-64 with 9:06 to play.
USD built a six-point lead with 2:49 to play after Sophomore Stanley Umude hit home two free throws. Omaha worked their way back to even when Mitch Hahn nailed a three with six seconds remaining. Junior Tyler Peterson couldn’t get the buzzer three to fall, and the game went to overtime.
The overtime period wasn’t kind to USD. The Coyotes shot 4-of-11 (36.5%) from the field and 4-of-9 from the charity stripe. The Mavericks only needed three shot attempts in the period because they took 19 trips to the free throw line, making 16 of them.
Fouls became an issue for both side late in the second half and overtime. Senior Trey Birch Manning was called for three fouls early in the first half and eventually fouled out. Birch-Manning played 17 minutes and didn’t score. Cody Kelley fouled out in the overtime period after scoring 18 points and shooting 5-of-8 from behind the arc. The Mavericks Mitch Hahn fouled out with 21 points.
Junior Triston Simpson scored 24 points in 44 minutes. Simpson finished the game 11-of-13 from the free throw line. He also leads the Summit League in minutes per game at 36.9. Umude tallied a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Armstrong showed up off the bench for 17 points and six boards.
The balanced attack by the Mavericks had six players in double figures. Zach Jackson lead all scorers with 27 points. KJ Robinson contributed 20 points and Matt Pile 11 points and eight rebounds. Ayo Akinwole scored 11 points, nine of them coming from the free throw line. JT Gibson was the sixth with double figures, finishing with 10 points.
Up next is a revenge game with Oral Roberts Sunday inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. The last meeting between the two teams saw USD Head Coach Todd Lee ejected late in the first half and a late rally by the Coyotes was not enough to come away with the win.