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    USD MBB: Coyotes selected for Bimini Jam in Bahamas

    BIMINI, Bahamas – The South Dakota men’s basketball team has accepted an invitation to participate in the inaugural Bimini Jam held Nov. 14-Nov. 20 at Gateway Christian Academy in Bimini, Bahamas.

    The Coyotes are set to face 2018 NCAA March Madness darling UMBC, the Mountain West’s Air Force and the Big South’s High Point. 

    South Dakota opens play against High Point on Friday, Nov. 16. The Panthers are under the direction of Tubby Smith, a former national champion head coach at Kentucky. Smith will be in his first year on the sidelines of HPU and is a 1973 graduate of the school. Last season, High Point tallied a 14-16 overall record and went 9-9 in league action. 

    This tournament will be a great early season test for us,” head coach Todd Lee said. “It is also a great team-building trip for our guys to bond early in the season.” 

    With a victory, the Coyotes would play the winner of Air Force and UMBC on Saturday, Nov. 17. If the Coyotes would fall, they would play the loser of the same game on Sunday, Nov. 18. The final game of the tournament is slated for Monday, Nov. 19, against the opponent USD has not faced yet.

    UMBC garnered national attention when it became the first No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers topped Virginia 74-54 in the first round of the tournament before falling to Kansas State by seven points in the second round. UMBC tallied a 25-11 record in 2017-18 with a 12-4 record inside the American East Conference. 

    Air Force is coming off a 12-19 record last season, with a 6-12 record in the Mountain West. Top scorer Lavelle Scottie returns to the Falcons after averaging 12.2 points per game as a sophomore. 

    The meeting will be the seventh all-time between the Coyotes and Falcons. South Dakota will face High Point and UMBC for the first time in program history. 

    South Dakota is coming off a 26-9 season, returns four of five starters and seven of its top-10 scorers from last season. South Dakota alum Todd Lee enters his first season as the Coyotes’ head coach. 

    At the same time as the Bimini Jam, another tournament named the Junkanoo Jam will be taking place with CSU Bakersfield, Central Michigan, Weber State and San Jose State all taking part. The first game of the Junkanoo Jam is set for Thursday, Nov. 15 between CSU Bakersfield and Central Michigan at Gateway Christian Academy. 

    Basketball Travelers, Inc. hosts the tournament in partnership with Resorts World Bimini. 

    Teams and fans will stay at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, the official partner of the Junkanoo Jam. Built in 2016, the resort features eight restaurants and bars, three pools, snorkeling, big game fishing, and is located less than a 10-minute walk from the game site at Gateway Christian Academy. Fans interested in purchasing travel packages or tournament passes for the 2018 Junkanoo Jam and Bimini Jam can visit www.junkanoojam.com

    Located just 50 miles off Florida’s coast, Bimini is the closest Bahamian island to the United States, boasting miles of pristine beaches. Known as Ernest Hemingway’s favorite escape, Bimini showcases the history and culture of the Caribbean. Visitors from around the world travel to Bimini to enjoy its warm weather, expansive beaches, and crystal clear waters.

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