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Tigers drop exhibition game against USD

Dakota Wesleyan University's Aaron Ahmadu (21) goes to the basket between University of South Dakota's Triston Simpson (3) and Cody Kelley (10) during an exhibition game at the Sanford Coyotes Sports Center in Vermillion. (Matt Gade / Republic)

VERMILLION -- Thirteen players scattered from across South Dakota gave the University of South Dakota all it could handle on Tuesday.

The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team played with Division I USD through the first 20 minutes and change, but the Coyotes pulled away for a 77-61 exhibition win.

The Tigers, who have South Dakotans up and down the lineup, held a 33-31 halftime lead and didn’t look out of place against the Summit League member.

“It’s everybody’s dream to play in a Division I basketball game,” DWU junior guard Ty Hoglund said. “But just playing in that environment and this atmosphere, playing against USD team -- it’s fun. You can just go out there and play loose and confident and hope for the best.”

Hoglund, who hails from Dell Rapids, scored 18 points and kept the Tigers within striking distance early on. Sam McCloud, who is from Rapid City, finished with 12 points (four 3-pointers) and collected seven rebounds. The duo helped the Tigers take a two-point advantage into halftime in front of 2,018 fans at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

“We just kind of had the mindset that we were going to come here and play hard and whatever happened, happened,” McCloud said. “We stuck with them in the first half.”

In the second half, McCloud nailed a corner 3-pointer for a 38-35 DWU lead with 17 minutes remaining in the game. However, the Tigers then proceeded to go 1-for-13 from the field for close to nine minutes.

“In that second half, it’s tough when they are that big and that strong and that fast,” Hoglund said. “They outplayed us. They are going to be good. They are going to have a good year this year, but it was a lot of fun. It was a good experience for all of our guys.”

The cold-shooting stretch spelled the beginning of the end for DWU, but coach Matt Wilber still praised the effort.

“The best part about that is -- as crazy as this is going to sound -- I have got a bunch of guys in there that expected us to win that game and are probably disappointed with how things went, especially in that second half,” Wilber said. “Our goal when we play in games like this is to give the teams a good run and a good look and I thought our guys really competed for a long time.”

The Tigers shot 12-for-34 in the first half, but made just nine shots in the second half. DWU missed a few point-blank shots in the first half that could have stretched the halftime margin.

DWU shot 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) from the 3-point line.

“Maybe this is who we are as a shooting team,” Wilber said. “But I like all of our shots. We just didn’t make many. We shot a terrible percentage and when you do that, you should get beat pretty badly, but I was encouraged by how we competed defensively.”

USD’s Trey Burch-Manning, an All-Summit League guard, finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Triston Simpson added 17 points and nine rebounds.

Nick Harden added eight points and six rebounds for the Tigers. Koln Oppold finished with seven points.

The Tigers now gear up for games against Dakota State and Presentation College on Saturday and Sunday at the Sanford Pentagon.

Notes: DWU sophomore guard Cooper Williams, son of USD Deputy AD David Williams, played 10 minutes in the second half. “There was no question I was going to play Cooper here,” Wilber said. “This is a really cool game for him to comeback and play. He’s a fan of the ‘Yotes. He’s grown up here with USD and he had some really good moments for us.”

University of South Dakota 77, Dakota Wesleyan 61Dakota Wesleyan: Collin Kramer 0-6 0-0 0, Sam McCloud 4-7 0-0 12, Nick Harden 2-7 0-0 4, Aaron Ahmadu 2-7 0-0 4, Ty Hoglund 6-16 4-5 18, Koln Oppold 3-6 0-0 7, Tristan Teichmeier 0-03 0-0 0, Nate Davis 1-6 2-3 4, Cooper Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Taner DenHoed 0-0 0-0 0, Noah Vettrus 0-0 0-0 0, Jeffery Schuch 1-1 0-0 3, Mason Larson 0-2 0-0 0, Zachery Treiber 1-1 0-0 3, Ace Zorr 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 21-68 10-15 61.South Dakota: Trey Burch-Manning 9-16 2-6 20, Stanley Umude 2-4 0-0 5, Triston Simpson 5-13 6-7 17, Cody Kelley 5-14 1-2 12, Tyler Peterson 5-10 3-5 13, Jack Stensgard 0-1 0-0 0, Matt Johns 0-3 2-2 2, Brandon Armstrong 0-1 0-0 0, Nathan Robinson 2-6 2-2 6, Logan Power 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 29-71 16-24 77.Halftime: DWU 33-31. 3-point field goals: DWU 9-35 (Kramer 0-4, McCloud 4-7, Harden 0-3, Ahmadu 0-3, Hoglund 2-7, Oppold 1-4, Davis 0-3, Williams 0-1, Schuch 1-1, Larson 0-1, Treiber 1-1); USD 3-15 (Umude 1-2, Simpson 1-4, Kelley 1-6, Johns 0-1, Robinson 0-1, Power 0-1). Rebounds: DWU 40 (McCloud 7); USD 54 (Burch-Manning 11). Assists: DWU 9 (Kramer 3); USD 14 (Burch-Manning 4). Steals: DWU 5 (McCloud 1, Harden 1, Ahmadu 1, Teichmeier 1, Williams 1); USD 8 (Peterson 4). Blocked shots: DWU 0; USD 4 (Burch-Manning 1, Umude 1, Simpson 1, Peterson 1). Total fouls: DWU 22; USD 18. Turnovers: DWU 15; USD 11. A: 2,018.