The Coyotes return to the field for the first time in more than two weeks on Saturday when South Dakota faces rivals South Dakota State in a 6 p.m. game from Frost Arena in Brookings.
The game will be televised by Midco Sports 2 with commentary from Tom Nieman, Greg Stemen and Elaina Lanson. This show will also air on ESPN + and Midco Sports Plus. Fans can stream the game on the Coyote Sports Network with John Thayer, broadcast on KVHT 106.3 FM at Yankton / Vermillion or using The Varsity Network app.
It’s 229e meeting in a series stretching back over 100 years, in 1914. The Jackrabbits lead the all-time series 130-98, but the Coyotes have won three of five games in the past two seasons and only one of those games took place in Vermillion. Add a site-neutral game in Sioux Falls last season and this is the fifth straight meeting between the two teams to take place away from Vermillion. That streak will hopefully end on February 5 when the Coyotes are expected to welcome the Jacks.
This is South Dakota’s first game since December 22. The team canceled two road games last week due to COVID-19. One of those games, the North Dakota Contest, was rescheduled Monday in Grand Forks.
The Coyotes are 7-6 overall. They lost their first two Summit games at home to Oral Roberts and Kansas City. Three-point shooting was the culprit as those two foes combined to make 18 triples while South Dakota rose to 8 of 34.
Kruz Perrott-Hunt (13.7 ppg), Xavier fuller (12.8 pages per page) and Mason Archambault (12.2 points per game) lead a balanced attack. Good defensive play was the hallmark of the USD’s non-conference performance. The Coyotes will need a comeback against one of the best offensives in the country on Saturday.
A landslide loss to Idaho is South Dakota State’s only flaw in the 12-4 start. He’s overshadowed by strong wins over George Mason and Washington State and a 3-0 conference start with wins over Oral Roberts and North Dakota State.
SDSU, behind guards Noah Freidel and Baylor Scheierman, are the nation’s best 3-point shooting team at 44% and the Jacks are making 10 3 points per game. They average 87 points, which ranks third nationally. Freidel dressed, but hasn’t played the last two games. He has an average of 18 points. Scheierman is perhaps the most complete player in the league.
One last thing
Saturday’s game is part of the South Dakota Showdown Series, an annual competition between the athletics departments of the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University. The Coyotes, with wins in football, volleyball and soccer, have a 5-2 lead in this year’s series. Four points will be awarded within one month on hardwood between men’s and women’s basketball.