VERMILLION — The ‘magnificent seven’ took down the top team in the Summit League.

That’s essentially what Todd Lee was playing with Sunday afternoon.

Seven players.

And still, his South Dakota men’s basketball team — which was already short-handed — surged to beat first-place Purdue Fort Wayne 87-73 at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” Lee said.

Having started the game with eight available players, USD (8-9, 2-2) saw senior reserve Dan Jech leave with an injury one minute into his stint on the court. He later came out of the locker room in a walking boot and on crutches.

Still, the ‘magnificent seven’ got the job done against the first-place Mastodons (12-8, 4-1), who lead the nation in made three-pointers.

“To play a team that’s 4-0 with their explosive lineup, the way they shoot the three, our guys did a really great job, especially defensively in the second half,” Lee added.

Against that offense, the Coyotes held Purdue Fort Wayne to 37 percent after halftime.

After a Mastodons’ layup with 4:26 remaining cut USD’s lead to 73-71, the Coyotes reeled off 14 straight points — 10 in a row coming from junior Triston Simpson — to take control.

“It’s a good confidence builder,” said sophomore Stanley Umude, who continued to showcase his improvements with 26 points and seven rebounds.

“It’s a big win. Coach was saying it was our biggest game of the year, and we definitely played hard.”

Especially in the face of more adversity.

South Dakota is already without senior Tyler Hagedorn for the season because of injury, and fellow seniors Trey Burch-Manning and Logan Power are also out with injury. Jech then left with a lower body injury at the 12:07 mark of the first half and never returned to the court.

“It’s one of those deals, he goes down and you’re thinking, ‘Not again,’” Lee said. “We’ve got six or seven guys sitting on the bench, we just can’t afford to lose anybody else.”

Instead, the Coyotes had to make do with the ‘magnificent seven.’

“It’s just the next man up mentality,” Umude said. “(Matt) Johnsie had a (heck of a) game today, so that’s what we need. We’re going to need people to step up.”

Umude and Simpson (19 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds) both played all 40 minutes, while junior Tyler Peterson (14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists) played 37 minutes. Freshman Matt Johns scored 10 points in 27 minutes of action.

The Coyotes did all they could to limit possessions, Lee said: From holding the ball, to bringing possessions down to the final seconds of the shot clock and calling timeouts to provide players some rest.

Even with all that time on the floor, Umude, in particular, only committed one turnover in 40 minutes — a stat Lee singled out later as impressive.

“If you’re a really good athlete, which he is, and you play the game at a very high energy level, there is no scouting report for that,” Lee said. “He is just learning how to do that, and hopefully that continues to get better.”

The Coyotes will hit the road for three straight games, beginning Thursday at Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Holba 1-4 1-2 3, Carl 5-8 2-2 13, Montgomery 0-3 2-2 2, Konchar 4-11 4-6 13, Harrell 6-15 0-2 13, Benford 0-0 0-0 0, M.Harvey 0-0 0-0 0, Godfrey 0-0 0-0 0, DeBerry 4-9 0-0 9, Weir 6-6 3-3 20. Totals 26-56 12-17 73.


Johns 4-4 1-3 10, Simpson 4-11 10-10 19, Peterson 5-12 4-4 14, Kelley 3-7 0-0 7, Umude 11-18 4-7 26, Jech 0-0 0-0 0, Armstrong 4-5 0-0 10, Robinson 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 31-57 20-26 87.

Halftime_Purdue Fort Wayne 42-37. 3-Point Goals_Purdue Fort Wayne 9-28 (Weir 5-5, Carl 1-3, Konchar 1-4, DeBerry 1-5, Harrell 1-5, Montgomery 0-3, Holba 0-3), South Dakota 5-15 (Armstrong 2-3, Johns 1-1, Simpson 1-2, Kelley 1-3, Peterson 0-3, Umude 0-3). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Purdue Fort Wayne 34 (Holba 7), South Dakota 29 (Peterson 10). Assists_Purdue Fort Wayne 15 (Konchar 6), South Dakota 12 (Simpson, Umude 4). Total Fouls_Purdue Fort Wayne 20, South Dakota 12. A_1,800 (10,000).

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