The Coyote men’s basketball team took on North Dakota on Thursday, Feb. 1 at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, along with South Dakota State on Sunday, Feb. 4 in Brookings, South Dakota.
The first match-up for USD began with tip-off at 7 p.m. The Fighting Hawks scored the first baskets of the night with a jumper from sophomore guard Treysen Eaglestaff. The Coyotes responded back with a bucket from senior forward Lahat Thioune.
Eaglestaff hit a 3-pointer with 18:41 minutes to go in the first half, bringing the score to 5-2 with North Dakota in the lead. The game remained scoreless until 16:32 with a jumper from junior guard Kaleb Stewart for USD.
North Dakota scored the next points by a 2-pointer from junior forward Amar Kuljuhovic. Stewart came back with a 3-pointer, and sophomore forward B.J. Omot made a jumper in the paint.
Stewart tied the game 9-9 with another bucket on a fastbreak. Omot made the next points with a layup for North Dakota. Junior guard Paul Bruns tied the game to 11-11 with his layup.
North Dakota went on a 7-0 run with 10:33 left to go in the game. USD came back with a 5-0 run with 9:25 left in the game, bringing the score to 18-16 with North Dakota ahead.
Kuljuhovic scored a layup followed by another 3-pointer from Stewart for the Coyotes. Senior guard Tyree Ihenacho made a jumper, but USD came right back with one from junior guard Max Burchill.
The Fighting Hawks went on a 6-0 run with 7:21 left in the first half. The run ended with redshirt freshman guard Steven Kramer making a 2-pointer.
Kramer continued to add points for USD, as he eventually tied the game 30-30 by hitting a 3-pointer. North Dakota went on a 7-0 run to end the first half at 37-30 with them on top.
USD came out strong in the second half with senior guard Bostyn Holt making a jumper and finishing the and one with the free throw. North Dakota went on a 11-2 run with 16:20 to go in the second half, bringing the score to 48-35.
Burchill contributed a layup along with a free throw, and Bruns sank a 3-pointer to add six points for the Coyotes. Burchill scored once again with a jumper, and Bruns made another three for USD.
The Coyotes went on a 13-10 run midway through the second half, bringing the score to 71-65 with USD still trailing. North Dakota added two more points after two free throws from fifth-year forward Tsotne Tsartsidze. USD came right back with two more three throws from redshirt freshman forward Jevon Hill.
The Fighting Hawks went on a 12-6 run with 1:49 left, which brought the score to 88-73. The Coyotes worked their way back up with a layup and one free throw from Burchill.
Ihenacho made a free throw for North Dakota, and USD freshman guard Isaac Bruns responded with a 3-pointer. Ihenacho came back with a three, and the game ended with a jumper from Kramer. The Coyotes fell to the Fighting Hawks 95-81.
USD had their second match-up against SDSU at Brookings beginning at 4 p.m.
Stewart starated strong for the Coyotes by scoring a jumper and one free throw. SDSU responded with a 3-pointer from senior guard Matt Mims.
Holt came out with a 2-pointer followed by a bucket from Jackrabbits redshirt senior forward Luke Appel. Stewart drained a 3-pointer, and sophomore forward William Kyle III made a jumper. Appel also made a layup for SDSU. This brought the score to 9-8 with the Coyotes behind.
SDSU went on a 8-2 run with 11:33 left to go in the first half. Stewart hit another 3-pointer to add for USD. Both teams went back and forth for the next three minutes, bringing the score to 25-22 with USD slightly behind.
The Coyotes went on a 7-3 run with a jumper from Thioune and Stewart, and a 3-pointer from Paul. Kyle III made two more free throws and Thioune scored the last point of the half with a layup.
The Coyotes ended the half ahead of the Jackrabbits 38-37.
Appel scored the first points of the second half for SDSU with a layup and senior guard Charlie Easley added a 3-pointer after Appel.
Stewart and Hill each made a jumper for USD, bringing the score to an even 42-42.
The score became tied once again at 53-53 with 7:47 left to go, following another jumper from Stewart. After his shot, Stewart contributed a free throw to put the Coyotes one point ahead of the Jackrabbits.
SDSU went on a 10-2 run with four minutes left to play. Stewart ended the long run with a jumper, and Thioune added a layup for the Coyotes. Holt contributed a free throw, followed by a free throw from Appel.
Easley added two free throws for SDSU, but Isaac responded with a 3-pointer, bringing the score to 69-67 with USD behind and 11 seconds to go. Easley made the final point of the game off of his free throw, ending the game at 70-67 with SDSU on top.
The Coyotes will have a home game Thursday, Feb 8 against Denver starting at 7 p.m.