MBB: Coyotes Blast Denver

VERMILLION, S.D. – A 23-5 run to close the first half, and a balanced scoring attack, propelled the South Dakota men’s basketball team to a 72-45 victory over Denver Wednesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Sophomore Stanley Umude led the Coyotes with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the season. Junior Triston Simpson added 13 points, junior Cody Kelley 12 points and senior Trey Burch-Manning 11 points as USD improves to 11-15 overall and 5-8 in the Summit League.

The victory gives South Dakota the season sweep over Denver, who falls to 7-20, 2-11. The Coyotes have also clinched their spot in the Summit League Tournament taking place March 9-12 in Sioux Falls.

The 23-5 run started with 10-straight points to turn a four-point deficit into a six-point USD lead at 23-17 before the Coyotes closed the half leading 36-22. The first stanza concluded with six-straight Coyote points, first a Burch-Manning free throw, followed by a jumper from Umude before Kelley sank three-straight free throws.

Burch-Manning sank a long-range basket to open the second half and the Coyotes saw their lead balloon to as many as 30 points before hitting the final tally of 72-45. The 45 points are the lowest point total the Coyotes have held a Division I opponent to in the Division I era.

South Dakota made 25-of-54 field goal attempts for 46.3 percent and sank 13 3-point baskets (13-of-29) as part of a 44.8 percent night from beyond the arc. Simpson dished five assists while Burch-Manning had four assists. Umude matched a season high of four blocked shots.

David Nzekwesi led Denver with 14 points while Joe Rosga chipped in 13 points. All other Pioneers had five points or less. Denver shot 17-of-55 from the field for 30.9 percent.

The Coyotes travel to South Dakota State for their final true road game of the regular season with the South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside Frost Arena.