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Freshman center Bryan Kielpinski was two points shy of his career-high with 11 points in USF's win over SDSM&T Thursday
Courtesy: USF Athletics

USF Advances in Transitional Tournament With 77-63 Win Over SDSM&T

Courtesy: USF Athletics
          Release: 03/01/2012
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The University of Sioux Falls utilized a balanced attack and another night of efficient shooting Thursday to advance with a 77-63 win over South Dakota School of Mines in the 2012 NCAA Transitional Tournament hosted by Black Hills State University. With the win USF extends their win streak to seven and moves to 19-8 on the year, while SDSM&T drops to 15-13. The Cougars have now won 18 of their last 20 contests. 

SDSM&T came to play and demonstrated so by scoring the game's initial five points to claim an early lead. The Hardrockers maintained that lead through the opening six minutes, only losing it after a 7-2 Cougar run, capped off by Skyler Bloch's jumper near the 13:00 mark giving USF their first advantage at 12-11.

The two teams went back-and-forth over the next seven minutes, a span that saw four ties, however, USF's David Maxwell began heating up and the Cougars followed. With just under six minutes left in the half, Maxwell knocked down a big three, the first of five field goals USF would convert on their next seven tries to close the half with a sizeable 35-24 lead.

Thanks to 10-12 shooting by Maxwell and Bloch, who combined for 21 first half points, the Cougars found themselves hitting at 61 % per clip in the opening period, while holding their opponent to just 33% shooting from the floor.

USF stayed hot in second half and it was clear in the opening minutes of the second half that SDSM&T did not have a chance. With the exception of Tanner Friesen's jumper with 18:22 to play, which cut the Hardrockers' deficit to 11, the Cougars kept a minimum of a 13-point lead the rest of the game, going ahead as many as 23 near the half-way point of the final period.

All nine players that touched the floor for USF marked the score sheet in the second half, where the Cougars shot a blistering 68% from the field and a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc to record a 14-point win over the Hardrockers.

The Cougars finished shooting 64% on the game, while holding SDSM&T to a 41% on the night.

As their hot shooting spread like wild fire, USF's bench outscored SDSM&T's 28-17.

The game marked just the fifth time this season the Cougars have lost the battle on the glass, where the Hardrockers held a 30-28 advantage.

Lead by 21 points from Friesen, SDSM&T had four players score in double-figures in Friesen, Kyle Doerr, Michael Dietz and Lance Kilburn. Doerr had 14, while Dietz and Kilburn chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.

Behind Maxwell's 15 points, USF also saw four player post double-digits. Maxwell scored a season-high on 7-10 shooting from the floor. James Rader had a big second half, where he posted 11 of his 13 points for the night. The additional two to score 10 or more points for the Cougars also came in from the front score, as Bryan Kielpinski and Bloch combined to go 9-11 from the field adding 21 points.

The Cougars will face the host and No. 1 seed, Black Hills State, in Spearfish, S.D. tomorrow night. Tip-off is set for 8:30p.m.

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