The Denver Pioneers (1-8, 0-2) returned to the scene of yesterday’s blowout loss to face the South Dakota Coyotes (4-6, 2-0) in a 24-hour test of team resilience and character. Denver struggled again with another double-digit loss, never holding a lead in the two-game weekend series.
It was deja vu all over again as the Coyotes raced out to a 12-1 lead. Following a commercial timeout, the Pioneers narrowed the margin to 3 points but USD extended their advantage to 12 points, 26-14, with 9:30 remaining in the first half. Denver cut the lead to 5 points with under five minutes remaining but DU was outscored 11-2 down the stretch, trailing 44-29 at the break. Just like yesterday, Stanley Umude and A.J. Plitzuweit did most of the damage for South Dakota with 18 and 12 points respectively in the first 20 minutes. The Coyotes shot over 50% from the field and three-point range and outrebounded the Pioneers by 8 for the half.
Three minutes into the second half, the Yotes hit their first 20 point lead, 51-31. Cold shooting by Denver led to only 8 points in the first ten minutes of the second half, trailing 61-39. The score stretched to 71-47 USD with five minutes to go. The teams traded buckets and free throws the remaining minutes of the second half with a score of 79-57 at the final buzzer.
Freshman Sam Hines, Jr. was DU’s only double-digit scorer with 14 points and 4 rebounds. Denver shot 29.6% from the field and was outrebounded 43-25.
Photo: Courtesy of University of South Dakota Athletics