LARAMIE, Wyo.—Derick Beltran's four three-pointers and 17 points led five Southern players in double figures as the Jaguars beat South Dakota 83-79 on day one of the Global Sports Showcase hosted by University of Wyoming.
Jameel Grace and Javan Mitchell chipped in 16 points each for Southern (1-2). Trevor Gruis had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead South Dakota (0-1). Karim Rowson, a junior-college transfer from New York, added 19 points in his first game as a Coyote.
Beltran's second 3 of the night came at the end of the first half and gave Southern a 42-34 halftime lead. Grace scored the first five points of the second half for the Jaguars, who took their largest lead, 57-43, on a three-point play by Yondarius Johnson with 14 minutes to play.
South Dakota scored the game's next nine points to cut the lead to 57-52. Brandon Bos came off the bench and got all four of his points during the run. Five players came off USD's bench and accounted for 18 points.
The Coyotes had several possessions to try to make it a one-possession game down the stretch. Gruis made 1-of-2 free throws on back-to-back trips that made it 77-75 with 28 seconds to go. The Jaguars made all six of their free throws in the closing seconds to secure their first win.
Southern used 14 offensive rebounds and forced 12 turnovers to separate itself from South Dakota. Mitchell led the Jaguars with five offensive boards and had eight rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
South Dakota was 5-of-19 from three-point range. Freshman Casey Kasperbauer was 1-of-5 from deep and had seven points in his first collegiate contest. Senior Juevol Myles played in his first game following a year layoff and had seven points on 2-of-11 shooting.
USD head coach Dave Boots post-game quotes
On the play of Trevor Gruis…
"We expect a lot out of Trevor as our only returning starter and he did a solid job offensively. He battled well inside and we are going to have to count on him to have consistent performances throughout the year."
On the play of Karim Rowson…
"Karim was active and got to the free-throw line a lot. He did a nice job, defensively. Some of our returning players are going to have to match his toughness if we are going to be successful."
"Southern had a couple of games under their belt and they competed well tonight. They shot the ball well and had good inside players, but our toughness wasn't there. You can't give up 31 points off second chances and turnovers because you didn't play tough. Rebounding and taking care of the basketball has to better tomorrow night."