USF Pulls Away From Upset Minded Trojans

Coo Beat DSU 71-52

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Teachloach Pal set career highs with 26 points and 17 rebounds to lead the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (2-1) to a 72-51 nonconference win over Dakota State in the home season opener on Saturday (Nov. 16) at the Stewart Center.

After leading just 25-24 at the halftime break, the Cougars shot a blistering 63.6 percent in the second half on 21-of-33 shooting to build a 23-point lead and cruise to the victory. USF will travel to the Northern State Tournament on Nov. 22-23 for games with Chadron State (5:30 pm, Friday, Nov. 22) and CSU Pueblo (3:30 pm, Saturday, Nov. 23).

“I thought we played pretty well defensively the whole night but we didn’t shoot very well in the first half. And then we started hitting shots,” said USF Head Coach Chris Johnson. “Plus Tess (Pal) was the best player on the floor tonight. Then, we had a big performance from Will (Lybaek). We found a way to grit out a nice victory tonight,” he said. “I thought we were able to get out in transition tonight and that was another factor for us,” added Johnson.

In 31:33 on the floor, Pal, who registered his third straight double double and now has eight in his career, was 12-of-16 from the field and made 2-of-3 free throws as he established a career-best point total. He also tied a career high of 17 rebounds as he had eight offensive boards while also dishing three assists. Pal, a junior forward from Fridley, Minn., is now averaging 17 points and 16 rebounds on the season.

William Lybaek also had a career-night with 15 points as he knocked down 6-of-9 field goals and made 3-of-5 three-pointers. The six field goals, nine attempts and the trio of treys also set career-bests for the redshirt junior from Trondheim, Norway.

USF also had eight points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals from sophomore Chase Grinde, who continues to fill up the stat sheet.

For the game, USF hit 31-of-63 shots for 49.2 percent and knocked in a season high 7-of-24 from three-point range for 29.2 percent. USF, which held a significant 41-22 rebound edge, made 3-of-7 free throws, four shots and had 18 assists on the 31 made baskets.

In addition, USF held a major edge in points in the paint at 44-to-24, outscored DSU, 16-2, on second chance points and had an 11-0 margin in fast break points.

As for Dakota State, they were led by 14 points from Josh McGreal while Gare Ewefada added 10 points and made a pair of three-pointers. Brady Van Holland supplied nine points and seven rebounds. Overall, DSU made 22-of-52 field goals for 42.3 percent and was 5-of-20 from three-point range for 25 percent. They committed 13 turnovers and had just five assists.

Scoring Breakdown
In the opening half, USF started fast with a three-pointer from freshman Jack Thompson (18:53) and had an 8-4 lead when Lybaek grabbed an offensive board and made a lay-up at the 14:21 mark. DSU had a 6-0 run to take a 14-10 lead with 11:23 to play. However, Austin Slater hit a three and Pal supplied a three-point play as USF led, 16-14,  with 9:38 to play.

Later Troy Houghton had a basket and Slater a free throw as the Cougars built a 19-16 lead at the 5:49 mark. USF had a 6-2 run to take a 25-18 advantage after Trevon Adams hit a jumper outside the paint at the 1:49 mark. DSU closed on a 6-0 run to draw within 25-24 at halftime.

In the first half, DSU had the shooting edge by making 11-of-23 field goals for 47.8 percent but just 2-of-10 from three-point range. USF hit 10-of-30 from the field for 33.3 percent but hit on 2-of-16 from three-point range.  Pal had 10 points for USF and McGreal supplied six to lead DSU.

In the second half, everything on the offensive end changed for USF as they outscored DSU, 47-27, and led by as many as 23 points with 36 seconds to play. In the second stanza, USF hit 21-of-33 field goals for 63.6 percent and that included making 5-of-8 three-points for 62.5 percent. Meanwhile DSU was 11-of-28 for 37.9 percent and 3-of-10 from distance.

After trailing early in the second half, USF used a three-pointer from Lybaek at the 16:28 mark to lead 35-31. Later Grinde converted a lay-up on the break and led, 41-38, with 13:57 to go.  After Pal scored inside and Jaxon Simons and Lybaek hit threes, USF was on their way as a 16-2 run gave USF a 57-40 lead with nine minutes to play.

DSU cut the lead to 12 (59-47) at the 7:08 mark but the Cougars had the answer once again. USF answered with 11-2 run to put the game on ice with Grinde’s fast-break lay-up giving the Cougars a 70-49 lead with 1:38 left in the game.

-Recap Courtesy USF Athletics

Categories: College Sports, Colleges – Dakota State, Colleges – University of Sioux Falls