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    USD MBB: South Dakota 98, Peru State 55

    VERMILLION, S.D. – Brandon Armstrong scored a career-high 24 points as the South Dakota men’s basketball team topped Peru State 98-55 in nonconference action Sunday afternoon inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

    The Coyotes improve to 22-6 on the season, matching the most wins in a season for USD in the Division I era. Peru State, who is receiving votes in the NAIA national poll, played Sunday’s game as an exhibition and remains 16-10 overall. 

    A pesky Bobcat team tied the game at 32-all on a layup from LJ Westbrook with 5:42 remaining in the first half. Both offenses then stalled until Trey Burch-Manning scored a layup with 2:05 left in the half and give USD a 34-32 lead that it would not relinquish.

    The layup sparked a 13-2 South Dakota run, aided by a pair of Armstrong 3-point baskets, to enter the intermission break with a 45-34 lead. The half ended for the Coyotes as Tyler Hagedorn scored on an old-fashioned 3-point play with less than a second on the clock. 

    With the Coyotes leading 54-36 and 15:26 remaining in the game, Armstrong sparked a 16-0 run to push the game out of the Bobcats’ reach at 70-46.

    The sophomore scored on a layup while being fouled and sank his free throw to begin the run. After a Hagedorn free throw, Nick Fuller scored five-straight points, which was followed by a pair of layups from Joshua Doss. The 16-0 run concluded the same way it started, an old-fashioned 3-point play from Armstrong. 

    South Dakota clamped down on the defensive end in the second half, holding PSU to just nine-made field goals in the half en route to the final score of 98-55. The 98 points are a season high for USD. 

    After Armstrong’s 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting, Hagedorn tallied 19 points for the Coyotes. South Dakota shot 58.5 percent from the field on 38-of-65 field goal attempts. Over their last two games, the Coyotes have shot a red-hot 59.6 percent from the field.

    Matt Mooney scored seven points and added six assists while Doss grabbed a team-best five rebounds. Stanley Umude came off the bench for nine points in eight minutes of action. 

    Westbrook tallied a team-high 15 points for Peru State who shot 33.9 percent from the field for the game. Westbrook and Dominique Bell each grabbed a team-best six rebounds. 

    South Dakota forced 19 Bobcat turnovers and turned those into 32 points. The Coyotes also dominated the painted area with 52 points compared to just 26 from PSU.

    The Coyotes now travel to Oral Roberts for a Valentine’s Day contest at 7 p.m. Wednesday. South Dakota plays its final home game of the season Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Omaha.

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