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    USD MBB: South Dakota 75, Denver 69

    DENVER—South Dakota sophomore guard Matt Mooney scored a game-high 23 points and the Coyotes made some big free throws late to beat Denver 75-69 Wednesday inside Magness Arena, ending the Pioneers’ six-game win streak.

    South Dakota (11-7) improved to 2-1 in Summit League play and ended a three-game skid against Denver. The Coyotes made 9 of 19 from three-point range and were 22 of 30 from the free-throw line to net their third true road win of the season.

    Denver (9-6, 1-1 Summit) got 14 points from Joe Rosga and 13 more from Daniel Amigo, but made 5 of 20 from downtown in having a four-game home win streak snapped. The Pioneers were shooting 40 percent from 3-point range as a team entering the game, the second-best mark in the Summit.

    All five of Mooney’s 20-point efforts this season have come in true road games. He needed just nine shots from the field to get to 23 Wednesday, but four were triples and he made 7 of 12 from the charity stripe. He made 5 of 6 in the final 19 seconds to seal the win.

    The game featured eight ties and 14 lead changes, and the largest lead was seven points by the Coyotes late in the first half. The teams stayed within four points of each other nearly the entire second half and until the free throws were made in the closing seconds.

    Denver took a 59-57 lead on a Thomas Neff 3 with 6:51 to go, but the Coyote defense took control from there. The Pioneers went 2 of 9 from the floor the rest of the way and committed four turnovers including a shot clock violation with 1:21 left when USD led 66-65. USD made 9 of 10 from the line in the final minute.

    “There are a lot of plays to look back to, but the big one came after we got that stop,” said USD head coach Craig Smith. “We came down here and it’s late in the clock and Sparky (Austin Sparks) gets fouled on the left side of the lane, and the Colorado kid steps up to the plate and knocks down both free throws to go up three. We made enough plays late.”

    Sparks, who attended Fairview High School in Denver, earned his second consecutive start following an injury to Tyler Flack. Sparks was perfect in three shots from the field and had eight points.

    Flack, South Dakota’s second-leading scorer, top rebounder and lone senior, will miss the next month after having arthroscopic knee surgery this week Smith announced during a pregame interview. Sparks earned 25 minutes in his place and Dan Jech added 14 off the bench.

    Speaking of the bench, the Coyotes got three triples and 11 points from Tyler Peterson, and backup point guard Triston Simpson logged 25 minutes after Trey Dickerson was saddled with fouls in the first half. Simpson had five points, three rebounds and an assist.

    Trey Burch-Manning had seven points and tied his season high with 12 rebounds. Carlton Hurst had 11 points and two steals. Dickerson finished with 10 points and five assists.

    The Coyotes begin a three-game home stand Saturday against IUPUI at approximate 3:15 p.m. following the USD-IUPUI women’s game at 1 p.m.

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