SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The South Dakota men’s basketball team won the opening tip and never looked back in an 81-53 victory over the Horizon League’s Youngstown State Sunday afternoon inside the Sanford Pentagon.
Brandon Armstrong tallied a career-high 16 points while Matt Mooney scored 14 and Tyler Peterson 10 points as USD shot 54.4 percent from the field for the game.
South Dakota (6-2) shot 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the field in the first half to jump out to a 21-point halftime advantage. Mooney swished a 3-point basket on the game’s opening possession as the Coyotes quickly jumped out to a 7-2 lead over Youngstown State (2-5).
Leading 17-12 with just under nine minutes to play in the first half, Mooney hit another 3-point basket to spark an 11-3 run which ended with a pair of Carlton Hurst free throws to open a 14-point advantage at 28-14 with 5:38 on the clock.
Maintaining a 12-point lead with just over two minutes to play in the half, Armstrong sank the seventh 3-point basket of the half for the Coyotes to begin a 9-0 run to close out the first stanza. The run included jumpers from Triston Simpson and Mooney and ended on an Armstrong layup. Armstrong broke free after forcing a steal to give the Coyotes a 45-24 halftime lead.
South Dakota continued to cruise in the second half and opened the largest lead of the game at 29 points after utilizing a 10-2 run late in the game. Nick Fuller scored on a layup with 6:33 remaining in the contest, with the run ending on an old-fashioned 3-point play from Joshua Doss.
Doss drove the baseline and went up for the basket when he was fouled, getting his layup to fall, followed by the free throw with 3:41 remaining in the game.
The Coyotes closed the game the same way it started, a 3-point basket. Logan Power fired the long-range shot with the shot clock winding down for the final score of 81-53.
The Coyotes shot 52.6 percent from 3-point range, making 10-of-19 shots, a season best for makes and percentage. Mooney, who was named to the Sanford Pentagon Showcase All-Tournament Team, sank four treys while Peterson was a perfect 2-of-2 from deep.
Tyler Hagedorn grabbed a game-high five rebounds as USD held the rebounding edge at 35-28.
Cameron Morse led Youngstown State with 12 points while Jeremiah Ferguson tallied 10 points. The Penguins shot 37.7 percent from the field and made just 3-of-19 shots from long range.
South Dakota travels to former Summit League foe UMKC on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The game is being played on the UMKC campus inside the Swinney Recreation Center.