South Dakota Uses Second-Half Spurt to Defeat VMI
The first contest in Arizona Tip-Off tournament history saw the South Dakota Coyotes defeat the VMI Keydets 85-81 at Diamond Desert Arena.
South Dakota (3-1) held a slender 39-37 edge at the half, with neither side seeing a separation of larger than six points. Leading by one, the Coyotes went on a 12-0 run midway through the second stanza, jumping out to a game-high 13 point lead at 66-53 with 9:42 left in regulation.
VMI (1-3) cut the deficit to 80-76 with 42 seconds on the clock and 82-79 with 11 seconds to play, but could not erase the deficit.
Kaleb Stewart paced the victors with 16 points on 7-15 from the floor. He was joined in double figures by three players – Lahat Thioune (13), Mayuom Boum (11) and Steven Kramer (10). South Dakota won points on turnovers, points in the paint, second chance points, fast break points and bench points.
The Keydets saw Brennan Watkins lead all scorers with 27 points on 9-15 shooting, including 5-10 from three-point range. Koree Cotton (16), Taeshaud Jackson (13) and Stephen Olowoniyi (10) scored in double digits.
South Dakota will face either Northern Arizona or Purdue Fort Wayne in the Desert Division title game on Saturday afternoon.