Coyotes triumph in opening day victory over Air Force

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 11:23 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS (USD) - South Dakota junior guard Kruz Perrott-Hunt scored 14 points and redshirt-sophomore Hunter Goodrick added 12 points and eight rebounds to lead the Coyotes to a season-opening win against Air Force Thursday inside the Sanford Pentagon.

South Dakota improved to 3-1 in season openers under head coach Todd Lee. The Coyotes also scored their first win in eight tries against the Air Force Academy. It was the first bout between the two programs since 2018.

Air Force got 14 points each from Ethan Taylor and AJ Walker. The Falcons trailed 32-22 at the break and by 15 points early in the second half before climbing back. Walker hit a 3-pointer that closed the gap to 55-53 with 18 seconds left. Mason Archambault countered with two free throws on the other end to make it a two-possession game and the Coyotes rebounded a Walker miss to close it out.

It took awhile for both teams to get going on the offensive end, but it was South Dakota who broke through first. The Coyotes closed the first half on a 19-8 run, spurred by Perrott-Hunt, Goodrick and Archambault. Each hit a 3 during the run. Perrott-Hunt scored nine of his 14 during the stretch.

Air Force committed 17 turnovers and mustered just one offensive rebound during the contest, which came on a blocked shot sent out of play. South Dakota had 13 offensive boards, committed 12 turnovers and outrebounded the Falcons by 10. That helped overcome 36 percent shooting for the game (21-for-58).

Goodrick was playing in his first game since the 2019-20 campaign. A native of Sydney, Australia, he did not return to the United States last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. He started and played a career-high 25 minutes. His 12 points were three shy of his career high and his eight boards are a career-best.

Archambault had 11 points and Xavier Fuller added nine points and eight rebounds for South Dakota, which won for the sixth time inside the Sanford Pentagon. Fuller had two of the Coyotes’ six 3-pointers.

South Dakota returns to the court Sunday at Drake before hosting Southern in its home opener next Friday.

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