Men’s hoops drop fourth straight to South Dakota

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Jake Thompson

Junior guard Dalan Ancrum started for the injured Delo Bruster Wednesday night.

Conor Fredland

The shorthanded Leathernecks turned the ball over 18 times and fell to the Coyotes in South Dakota Wednesday night 62-55. Western was missing guards Delo Bruster and Jabari Sandifer.

In the first half the Leathernecks were led by an impressive performance by Dalan Ancrum, who started in place of Bruster, and Brandon Gilbeck. The two combined for 13 points in the opening 30 minutes.

Carlton Hurst’s 9 points in the first half led the Coyotes, who were able to keep it close thanks to poor free throw shooting. Still, they shot just 20 percent from the field in the first half.

Western was outscored by 10 points in the second half. Patrick Mooney, who had 16 points and remains second in the Summit League in scoring, led the Coyote-charge.

Also for South Dakota, Tyler Hageforn finished with a double-double, racking up 11 boards and scoring 13 points.

Western could not keep up with South Dakota down the stretch and it ultimately killed them in the end. The Leathernecks are still having a hard time closing out games and playing for all 40 minutes.

However, Leathernecks radio voice Michael Dion believes there is a silver lining.

“The best is yet to come for Western because they have yet to play an entire game to their fullest potential, with the exception of Fort Wayne,” Dion said.

The loss for the Leathernecks is their fourth straight. After the game, Coach Billy Wright spoke about the mistakes his team committed.

“The turnovers we made were uncharacteristic, just simple plays you can’t make whether you have a true point guard or not,” Wright said. “Those are basketball plays and our guards have to be better at making those decisions. You see 18 turnovers, missed free throws down the stretch and we did not shoot well.”

Wright was still pleased with the effort his players put forth.

“We still had a chance at the end,” Wright said. “Our kids fought and I’m proud of that.”

Western will look to improve their 6-13 record at Western Hall Saturday against IUPUI.

Twitter: @ecfredland