VERMILLION, S.D. – Five players in double-digit scoring led the South Dakota men’s basketball team to an 86-69 victory over Fort Wayne Thursday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.
Matt Mooney and Triston Simpson each tallied a team-high 17 points while Nick Fuller came off the bench for 14 points. Tyler Hagedorn and Tyler Peterson each added 10 points for the Coyotes who outscored the Mastodons 58-32 in the paint. Mooney totaled a career-high nine assists.
The Coyotes improve to 21-6 overall and 9-2 in the Summit League as Fort Wayne falls to 16-11 overall and 5-5 in league play.
South Dakota led from start-to-finish after jumping out to an 11-0 lead including a jumper by Mooney on the opening possession of the game. The run continued when Trey Burch-Manning picked the ball away from John Konchar and went the distance for a fast-break dunk. The lead ballooned to the 11 points with a 3-point basket from Simpson, a layup from Peterson before ending on a layup from Simpson.
After the Mastodons got three points from Bryson Scott, the Coyotes’ lead then stretched to 21-3 as USD seized control of the contest with 12:37 remaining in the first half. Brandon Armstrong swished a 3-point basket for the 21-3 lead.
The largest lead of the game came with 4:12 remaining in the half when Mooney found Hagedorn under the basket for a layup to give USD the 41-15 lead before entering intermission with a 45-23 advantage.
Fort Wayne was able to cut the deficit to 14 points on three occasions, with the last coming with 12:18 left in the game on a Scott layup. However, a 3-point basket from Mooney stopped any momentum the Mastodons had and turned it towards South Dakota as the Coyotes rebuilt its lead to 21 points at 80-59 before settling on the final score of 86-69.
South Dakota shot a season-best 61 percent from the field on 36-of-59 field goal attempts while holding Fort Wayne to 37.3 percent on 25-of-67 shot attempts. Scott scored 23 points for Fort Wayne. Konchar tallied a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
For the second time this year, South Dakota put five players in double-figure scoring and nearly had a sixth with Burch-Manning scoring eight points.
Hagedorn nearly had the double-double for the Coyotes with nine rebounds to go along with his 10 points as South Dakota held a 37-32 rebounding edge.
South Dakota takes a side step out of Summit League action on Sunday hosting Peru State at 1 p.m.