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Coyotes Earn First Win

South Dakota rallied from 11 points down with eight minutes to go to knock off Texas State, 57-56, Monday night at Strahan Coliseum.

It was the first head coaching victory for Joey James who got a double-double from junior guard Brandon Bos and three 3-pointers during a 15-0 run during the comeback from sophomore guard Casey Kasperbauer. The Coyotes moved to 1-3 while Texas State fell to 0-5.

Kasperbauer was the top three-point shooter in Summit League play a year ago, but made one of his first 13 long-range shots to start this season. Consider that long forgotten. Kasperbauer’s first 3 trimmed the lead to 51-47. His second 3 gave USD its first lead of the second half, 52-51, with 3:45 to go. He hit a third on the next possession to complete the run.

Texas State got 19 points from Wes Davis and 16 points and 13 rebounds from Joel Wright. Davis answered Kasperbauer’s third 3 with a trey of his own that cut the Coyotes’ lead to 55-54 with 2:33 remaining.

Both teams had two possessions each before Bos scored a putback off a Trey Norris miss with 18 seconds to go. It was the 15th point and 10th rebound of the game for Bos. Wright scored in the lane as time expired after the Bobcats failed to get a look at a game-tying 3.

Texas State built its lead by scoring the final nine points of the first half and taking a 34-25 advantage into the break. Trevor Gruis brought the Coyotes within six points at 46-40 midway through the second half, but Phil Hawkins answered with two free throws, Davis made 1 of 2 foul shots and Hawkins got an easy bucket that made it 51-40 with 8:15 remaining.

South Dakota forced four turnovers and held the Bobcats to 2 of 10 shooting in the final eight minutes. Bos and Kasperbauer combined to score 15 of the Coyotes’ final 17 points. USD also blocked eight shots, committed a season-low seven turnovers and had four steals. Gruis had six points, five rebounds and four blocks.

The win capped a four-game road trip for the Coyotes to begin the season. South Dakota will host Graceland at 4:15 p.m. Saturday in its home opener. The game will follow a women’s game between South Dakota and Wyoming.

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