.South Dakota scored 14 of the final 17 points in a 71-67 win against Utah Valley Monday night inside the DakotaDome. The Coyotes (3-3) have won three in a row while the Wolverines (3-5) lost all five games of a season-long road trip.
South Dakota guard Brandon Bos scored a team-high 15 points including two free throws with 3.9 seconds remaining that sealed the win. Bos had 10 points in the second half. Teammate Tyler Larson came off the bench to score nine points in the first half and finished with a season-high 12.
Utah Valley’s top big men, Zach Nelson and Ben Aird, combined for 34 points and 21 rebounds. Aird had a game-high 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Nelson had season highs of 16 points and 13 boards.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 17-7 lead, but the Coyotes scored the final five points of the half to work a 35-35 tie heading into halftime. Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half. Nelson had 10 points and six boards by the break.
Utah Valley led 64-57 with 4:28 remaining after point guard Holton Hunsaker hit back-to-back jumpers. He finished with 15 points. But the Wolverines made one field goal down the stretch and committed three turnovers.
Eric Robertson played nine minutes, but turned in the play of the game for the Coyotes. His put back off a Trey Norris jumper gave USD the lead for good, 65-64, with 1:34 remaining. Robertson had four points, two boards and a blocked shot.
Trevor Gruis got a bucket in the lane to extend the lead to 67-64 with 44 seconds to go. Gruis had eight points. Despite the play of Nelson and Aird, South Dakota out-scored Utah Valley in the paint 36-30.
Two free throws by Bos with 11 seconds left completed a 12-0 run. Hunsaker hit a deep 3 with 4.9 seconds left. Bos was immediately fouled and scored two more from the line.
South Dakota was 16 of 28 from the line to offset a 3 of 13 effort from 3-point range. Utah Valley made 6 of 8 free throws and hit seven 3-pointers.
USD point guard Trey Norris had six points, four rebounds and seven assists. He has 21 assists against one turnover during the Coyotes’ three-game win streak.
South Dakota hits the road and will compete at Air Force near Denver Thursday in an 8 p.m. CST tip. The Coyotes will be the home team in a Saturday contest against Wyoming in a game played in Rapid City, S.D.