Despite a dominating first half for the Golden Eagles on Wednesday, the South Dakota Coyotes managed to claw back and soundly beat ORU 85-67 at their last home game of the season.
As it was the last home game, seniors Albert Owens and Austin Ruder were both recognized before the game, as well as senior manager Jonathan VanKeulen. Head Coach Paul Mills had nothing but good things to say about the two seniors.
“Albert and Austin are both a joy to coach, they are both wonderful young men,” said Mills. “They don’t necessarily play basketball with each other, they play basketball for each other.”
However, he could not hide his dissatisfaction with the way that the game unfolded, “I’m disappointed, frustrated, upset, and a whole lot of feelings, that we couldn’t come away with a victory, more because we wanted to play in a way to honor those guys.”
For the Golden Eagles, Javan White had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Austin Ruder contributed 13 points, and Emmanuel Nzekwesi had a solid 10 points. This was not enough to keep the Coyotes at bay, however, and USD out-shot ORU by 20 percent, and had six turnovers to the Golden Eagles’ 12 turnovers. The Coyotes went on a rampage out of the locker room at half time, outscoring ORU 27-6 within the first eight minutes and maintaining an extensive lead for the remainder of the game.
With the season almost over, the Golden Eagles have precious little time to adjust and improve before conference. The Golden Eagles will finish their regular season on the road, with games coming up in Denver and Omaha.