(From the SDSU sports desk)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The South Dakota men’s basketball team held off Northern Arizona for a 90-77 victory Thursday night in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Matt Mooney tallied 22 of his team-high 24 points in the second half while Tyler Hagedorn added 20 points. Nick Fuller scored a career-high 17 points.
The Coyotes won their third-straight game and improve to 10-3 on the season as the Lumberjacks fall to 2-9. South Dakota entered intermission with a 38-23 lead and opened a 19-point lead with 12:45 remaining in regulation at 60-41 on a Carlton Hurst free throw. Northern Arizona then used a 15-3 run to claw back into the game at 64-59 ending when JoJo Anderson hit a 3-point basket with 8:36 on the clock. Mooney answered with a jumper to stop the run, and the Coyotes were able to build the lead back to 12 points on a quick 7-0 run.
After Mooney’s jump shot, Tyler Peterson added a pair of free throws and Fuller had an old-fashioned 3-point play with 6:43 remaining in the contest. Northern Arizona made one final run at the Coyotes, cutting the deficit to five points with 3:06 remaining. However, South Dakota embarked on another 7-0 run to withstand the Lumberjacks attack and escape with the 90-77 victory.
Mooney scored four-straight points and the run was accentuated with a dunk from Hagedorn. Trey Burch-Manning then hit a free throw with 1:27 remaining to push the game out of reach.
South Dakota made 29-of-63 field goal attempts for 46 percent shooting. Scoring 52 points in the second half, the Coyotes shot 50 percent making 26-of-32 field goal attempts. Northern Arizona shot 39.7 percent from the field, making 23-of-58 shot attempts.
South Dakota, winners of five of their last six games, continues its West Coast swing at San Jose State Sunday. The opening tip is slated for 5 p.m. (CST) inside The Event Center on the campus of San Jose State.