Balanced Coyote attack defeats UND, 82-68
North Dakota held the Summit League’s top scorer, Tyler Hagedorn, to only 15 points, but it was his supporting cast that helped lead South Dakota to a 82-68 victory over North Dakota on Saturday afternoon from the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Turnovers were the primary story of the game, with UND (11-14, 5-6 Summit League) matching its season high of 20 giveaways that led to 19 South Dakota (18-8, 8-3 Summit League) points. The 20 turnovers are the most in a game since Nov. 19 at Milwaukee, but the 12th straight game with at least 10.
Marlon Stewart led the way once again for the Fighting Hawks, striking for a game-high 23 points while adding five assists and three rebounds to notch his 17th straight game in double figures and his fourth straight with at least 20.
De’Sean Allen-Eikens continued his strong play as of late, tallying 18 points and a team-high seven rebounds. The freshman has now hit 10 of his last 14 from distance over his last three games after a 4-of-5 effort on Saturday.
Kienan Walter was the final Fighting Hawk in double figures with 10 points and three rebounds to mark the ninth time in 11 conference games that he has crossed the 10-point plateau. Filip Rebraca returned to the lineup from injury to score nine points and grab four rebounds, but was limited to just 23 minutes after suffering another injury and was forced to leave the game in the second half.
Four Coyotes reached double figures, led by Hagedorn’s 15, but the visitors received points from all 10 players who saw action in the victory.
Offense was the name of the game to start the contest, with both teams firing away at a high clip. North Dakota did its damage from three, hitting four of its first five attempts to take an early lead. South Dakota answered with threes the old-fashioned way, cutting the deficit to just a pair, 18-16, at the under-12 media.
The threes kept falling for the hosts through the opening half of the first stanza, as Davids Atelbauers and Gertautas Urbonavicius each hitting one to keep the Hawks in front, 26-23, with just over seven minutes to play. Turnovers were keeping the Coyotes in the game, however, with the visitors striking for five points off six early UND giveaways.
Fouls started to weigh on UND through the final minutes of the first half, allowing South Dakota to take a 39-30 lead in the final two minutes. Four-different players for the Hawks picked up multiple fouls in the period, including a trio of starters, as the Coyotes built a 41-34 going into the halftime break.
South Dakota extended its lead to 10 on a pair of occasions early in the second half, but North Dakota started to battle back in the game through the midway portion of the second half. The fourth triple of the day for Allen-Eikens, followed by a Marko Coudreau offensive rebound and finish, and a Stewart jumper cut the lead to just four, 57-53, with just over nine minutes to play.
The run was short lived, however, as USD answered with 12 straight points, capped off by back-to-back threes, to extend the lead to a game-high 16, 69-53, with 6:03 to play.
South Dakota maintained its lead from the charity stripe for the remainder of the contest to hold on for the 82-68 victory.
North Dakota returns to action next Saturday at Western Illinois at 7 p.m. from Western Hall in Macomb.