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South Dakota hangs on for 75-68 men's basketball win over UND

UND dropped to 0-4 in the Summit and 4-13 overall while South Dakota improved to 1-3 and 8-7. It was the Hawks’ fifth-straight loss.

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UND's Brady Danielson works for a shot as South Dakota's Damani Hayes defends in the first half of their game Monday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald<br/>

GRAND FORKS — Nothing has been normal in college basketball the past two seasons. COVID-19 protocols, rescheduled games, canceled games and difficult travel have been the norm the past two seasons, including the Summit League.

Excuses don’t exist anymore. UND and South Dakota are both well aware of that. And both played short-handed during Monday night’s rescheduled Summit League game at the Betty, where South Dakota held on for a 75-68 win.

South Dakota played without its top scorer; UND isn’t at full strength as well and the Hawks played in Denver on Saturday – making for a short turnaround in preparation for the Coyotes.

UND dropped to 0-4 in the Summit and 4-13 overall while South Dakota improved to 1-3 and 8-7. It was the Hawks’ fifth-straight loss.

“Obviously, it’s very frustrating,” said UND’s Brady Danielson, whose floor burns were testament to his determined play. “I hate losing. No one likes losing. It’s hard, honestly. But there is nothing we can do about it. We just have to stand together as a group; that’s the most important thing. We can’t have people kind of go off in their own space. We have to stay together and keep working.”

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UND’s start was solid but the Coyotes gained separation in the final five minutes of the first half. The Coyotes outscored UND 9-0 to take a 39-28 halftime lead.

UND didn’t put together any major runs in the second half but led by Danielson’s hustle and his handful of times diving for loose basketballs, UND found itself trailing 69-64 in the final minute. The Yotes closed out the win by making their free throws in the closing seconds.

“That stretch in that first half we had some bad offensive possessions,” said UND coach Paul Sather. “We kind of let a few baskets that they made affect us on offense. We lost some of that warrior mentality.

“But I thought there was a 12- or 13-minute stretch in the second half where our guys played really hard. I think we kind of found a little bit of identity defensively that we’re working toward. Brady did an awesome job of leading that charge.”

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UND's Paul Bruns and USD's Tasos Kamateros battle for a rebound in the first half of their game Monday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald<br/>

UND was led by Paul Bruns, who scored 21 points. The 6-foot-4 guard from Jefferson, S.D., is the top freshman scorer in the Summit. Tsotne Tsartsidze added 13 points while Matt Norman and Bentiu Panoam each finished with 11.

The Hawks shot only 35 percent compared to South Dakota’s 48 percent. The Yotes were led by Kruz Perrott-Hunt and Mason Archambault as each finished with 19. The Coyotes also received a whopping 18 rebounds from 6-7 sophomore Hunter Goodrick.

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UND's Ethan Igbanugo dribbles around South Dakota's Mason Archambault in the first half Monday.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald<br/>

UND will remain at home Thursday and Saturday against Western Illinois and Summit newcomer St. Thomas on Saturday.

The grind continues for the Hawks – and the rest of the league teams as well.

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“Everybody is going through injuries, sickness and things like that,” said Danielson. “You can’t use excuses. You just have to fight through it. I’ve always preached no excuses. Our coaches say that, too. It’s next man up and you have to keep fighting.”

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