Coyotes travel to Western Illinois


The Game
The Coyotes are headed back on the road as they travel to face former Summit foe Western Illinois. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. inside Western Hall in Macomb, Illinois. The game will be streamed on ESPN+. Fans can also tune into the game on the Coyote Sports Network with John Thayer on KVHT 106.3 FM in Yankton/Vermillion or by using the Varsity Network app.
The Coyotes
South Dakota (5-3) is headed back on the road after a three-game home stand where they went 2-1 with wins over Northland and Waldorf and a one-point loss to Air Force.
Paul Bruns has strung together three double-figure scoring performances in the last three games. He put up a season-high 18 points in South Dakota’s 93-71 win over Waldorf on Nov. 28. Bruns had 16 points in the Coyotes’ one-point loss to Air Force on 50 percent shooting from the field and from three. He scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, including the game-tying three pointer in the final minute of the game.
Isaac Bruns recorded a career-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from three in the win over Waldorf. He has come off the bench in all eight games this season and has three double-digit scoring performances.
Lahat Thioune has three double-doubles in five games and back-to-back 20+ point performances. He had a career-high 24 points in the Yotes’ 100-79 win over UTRGV in the Sanford Pentagon and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in South Dakota’s win over VMI.
The Leathernecks
Western Illinois (3-5) is undefeated at home this season and just picked up its third home win of the season after a three-game road skid. The Leathernecks traveled to Valparaiso and fell to the Beacons 73-66 before continuing on the road for a pair of Big 10 games. The Leathernecks travel to Illinois and fell to the Illini 84-52 before going to take on the Badgers of Wisconsin and falling 71-49.
James Dent Jr. leads the Leathernecks on offense with 17.3 points per game and has scored in double-figures in all eight games this season. Ryan Meyers adds 11.0 points per game and Drew Cisse grabs a team-high 10.6 rebounds per game.
Jesiah West and Quinlan Bennett are the only two returning starters from a season ago. West is a Summit all-defensive honoree from a season ago averaging 7.8 points per game and 26.o minutes per game this season. He had 11 points in 38 minutes in the Leathernecks’ last meeting with the Coyotes. Bennett is averaging 6.3 points per game and 23.3 minutes per game. In last season’s last meeting with the Yotes, Bennett played 35 minutes and scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field.
The Series
Sunday’s matchup marks the 30th meeting between the former Summit foes. South Dakota holds a 19-10 advantage over Western Illinois and has won seven of the last eight most recent meetings. The Leathernecks defeated the Yotes 75-72 last season in the teams’ final meeting as Summit League foes.
One Last Thing
South Dakota has had at least four Yotes score in double-figures in six of the eight games this season. Paul Bruns is the lone Coyote with consecutive double-digit scoring at three games in a row.

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