VERMILLION, S.D. – The Todd Lee era for the South Dakota men’s basketball team opened with an 83-58 victory over York College Wednesday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Junior Triston Simpson led the way with a career-high 23 points as senior Trey Burch-Manning totaled 22 points and eight rebounds.
The Coyotes, who won their opening game for the third-straight season, jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game. Junior Tyler Peterson scored the Coyotes’ first points of the season when Simpson found him open in the corner for a 3-point basket. Burch-Manning made it a 10-point game with 14:22 remaining in the first half when he made his first of four 3-point baskets.
After the Panthers clawed their way back into the contest to make it 20-17 at the midway point of the half, the Coyotes methodically rebuilt their lead and entered intermission ahead 45-32.
The second half opened much in the same fashion as the first, but this time it was junior Cody Kelley finding Simpson open in the corner for a trey. The basket was part of a 21-5 Coyote run to blow the game open at 64-37 with 12:55 remaining.
The Coyote defense clamped down in the second stanza, holding York to 37.9 percent (11-of-29) shooting after allowing the Panthers to make 13-of-26 shots (50 percent) in the first half.
“I thought our defense in the second half was much better,” Lee said. “In the first half, they caused some problems. Their guards are quick and we didn’t defend very well. We did cause 19 turnovers and got some offense from our defense, especially in the second half.”
South Dakota tallied 17 points off the 19 forced turnovers. Burch-Manning had four steals and a block to go along with his 22 points and eight rebounds. He went 8-of-15 from the field including 4-of-6 from long range.
Simpson topped his previous career high on 7-of-12 shooting and was perfect from the free throw line making all seven attempts. His previous career-high was 20 points, tallied against South Dakota State on Jan. 25, 2018. Peterson matched his career-high with 15 points and added six rebounds as the Coyotes shot 45.3 percent (29-of-64) from the field.
Kelley, making his Coyote debut, totaled seven points, five rebounds and five assists. Three other Coyotes made their debuts in senior Jay Harvey and freshmen Matt Johns and Nathan Robinson.
South Dakota remains on its home floor on Monday hosting Northern Arizona. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.