MADISON, S.D. - The Dakota State University hosted their in-state rival University of Sioux Falls for the second time this season Saturday night at DSU Fieldhouse. The Trojans finished the game strong and defeat the Cougars 66-56 to complete their current five-game home stand undefeated. USF's longest winning season of nine-game was snapped by the Trojans. Dakota State recorded their first back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than 20 years.
DSU won their season-high fifth straight game and improved their overall record to 15-9. It was the Trojans' third win over NCAA Division II team this season (defeated Black Hills State and South Dakota Mines). University of Sioux Falls dipped their record to 12-8.
The Trojans shot 8-for-14 from the field (57.1 percent) in the first 13 minutes and two seconds to gain the game's biggest lead at 21-11 lead (on first occasion). USF was 3-for-16 during that stretch (18.9 percent).
The Cougars closed the first-half with a 13-7 run as DSU held a 28-24 halftime lead.
DSU shot 55 percent from the field (11-for-20) compared to USF 25.9 percent (7-for27).
University of Sioux Falls opened the second-half with a quick 7-0 scoring run to regain a 31-28 lead with 18:18 left.
Both teams traded lead or tie the game in the next six minutes.
With USF leading at 38-37, DSU scored seven straight points to grab a 44-38 lead with less than ten minutes remaining.
The Cougars were able to trim their deficit to 47-45 with 5:30 left.
Dakota State sealed the victory by converting 15-of-19 free-throws in the final 4:55 of the game. The Trojans finished with the biggest lead for the second time in the game.
DSU was 23-for-28 from the free-throw line (82.1 percent) in the second-half, while USF was 9-for-11.
Spencer Adams poured in 24 points for the Trojans. He was 7-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-6 from the 3-point line. Adams was 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. He pulled down seven rebounds, dished out three assists, and blocked four shots. Donald Stewart added 15 points as he was 4-for-7 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line. Keith Biggers added eight points off the bench. Stephen Klekas had three assists.
Skyler Bloch had a double-double of 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for USF. David Maxwell added nine points. A.J. Holland dished out five assists.
The Trojans shot 43.9 percent overall from the field (18-for-41) compared to USF 30.4 percent (17-for-56).
DSU was 26-for-35 from the free-throw line (74.3 percent), while USF made 18 free-throws in 21 attempts (85.7 percent).
The Trojans won the rebounding battle over the Cougars 38-30.
Dakota State looks to extend their season-high winning streak on Tuesday night as they travel to Morningside College (DSU defeated the Mustangs 78-72 in their first meeting on Nov. 11 as part of the Ed Harter Classic in Madison). Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at the RSVC-Alle Gym in Sioux City, Iowa.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director