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Summit League Men’s Preview: South Dakota at Western Illinois

Joey James, University of South Dakota Coyotes
University of South Dakota

The South Dakota men’s basketball team has taken care of business at home through the first two weeks of the 2014 Summit League schedule, now it’s time to see how the Coyotes do away from Vermillion when they travel to Western Illinois and Omaha this week.

USD (8-9/3-0) pushed its current win streak to five last Thursday night with a win over IUPUI at the DakotaDome.   It was a game that saw the Coyotes start fast, shooting 61% in the first 7:30, only to see the Jags reel off 10 straight to take a one-point lead at halftime.

In the second half, USD clamped down on defense, and turned a close game into a 12-point win after scoring 14 of the last 17 points in the game:

RECAP: USD 69 IUPUI 57

USD Head Coach Joey James on the hard fought win over IUPUI:

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Two nights later, the DakotaDome was the site of the battle for the early lead in the conference with the unbeaten Coyotes hosting 3-0 Fort Wayne.

Fouls would be a big issue in this one, limiting USD center Trevor Gruis to just 12 minutes of playing time, sending Tyler Flack out early in the second half, and limiting Mastodons center Steve Forbes throughout the game.

The Coyotes got some key play off the bench, forcing IPFW into 10 first half turnovers, and stretching the lead to 10 at the break, before winning by 14 to take over sole possession of first place after two weeks.

RECAP: USD 75 FORT WAYNE 61

Coach James on sitting Gruis for most of the Fort Wayne win:

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University of South Dakota vs Western Illinois Men's Basketball
(Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

The Coyotes will now take their perfect record on the road in the conference for the first time, starting Thursday at Western Illinois.

Coach James knows what he needs to see from his team this week:

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Tipoff is Thursday night at 7:00pm in Macomb.

PREVIEW: NDSU at SDSU

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