VERMILLION — After Saturday’s 93-54 victory over Denver, South Dakota head men’s basketball coach Todd Lee said that one of the toughest opponents to coach against was “human nature.”

On Sunday facing those same Pioneers, USD held its own against “human nature” as well.

USD built a 15-point halftime lead, then kept the margin above that mark the rest of the way in a 79-57 victory over Denver in Summit League men’s basketball action at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Stanley Umude led the Coyotes with 27 points and 11 rebounds. A.J. Plitzuweit finished with 19 points in the victory.

For Denver, Sam Hines, Jr., led the way with 14 points. Jase Townsend, the Pioneers’ leading scorer at over 20 points per contest entering the weekend, scored eight points on the day and did not get to 20 points in the two contests.

“We did a really good job on Jase Townsend,” Lee said. “Give credit to ‘X’ (Xavier Fuller). He came in and did a great job.”

USD jumped out to a 12-1 advantage thanks to three three-pointers and an Umude three-point play. Denver clawed back to within three, 15-12, but the Coyotes quickly answered with nine straight points, including seven from Plitzuweit.

Denver rallied again, with two three-pointers by Roscoe Eastmond and another by Kobey Lam, to edge within five, 30-25. The Pioneers closed the gap to four, 33-29, before USD closed the half on an 11-0 run to take a 44-29 lead into the locker room.

“They came out with a lot more intensity,” Umude said of Denver. “I thought we did a good job of handling it. I thought we responded well, kept our composure.

“We knew it wouldn’t be the same game as yesterday.”

Umude had nine of the Coyotes’ 11 points to close the half. The senior was also key in helping the young squad keep up the intensity level.

“Stan was in the huddle talking about it, not taking our foot off the gas,” Lee said.

The Coyotes started the half on a 15-6 surge to push the game past 20 points, 61-35. The Pioneers did not close within 20 the rest of the way.

USD now hits the road, heading to Kansas City Jan. 8-9.

“I told our guys that this was a must-win (against Denver),” Lee said. “We go on the road for six of eight. It was great for our guys to play well two nights in a row.”

The Coyotes, now 4-6 overall and 2-0 in the Summit League, still have plenty of work to do, Lee said.

“We need to guard the ball better, guard the post,” he said. “We need to stay in our offense, making sure we’re getting a great shot instead of a good shot.”

Denver is off until Jan. 15-16 at home against Denver.

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DENVER (1-8)

Sam Hines Jr. 4-11 -68 14, Tristan Green 1-3 0-0 3, Frank Ryder 2-5 2-3 6, Jase Townsend 2-11 4-5 8, Taelyr Gatlin 1-4 0-0 3, Eric Moenkhaus 1-2 0-0 3, Drake Muller 0-1 0-0 0, Javonni Bickham 1-2 2-2 4, Roscoe Eastmond 2-7 0-0 6, Kobey Lam 1-6 5-5 8, Korey Hess 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan Heath 0-0 0-0 0, James Sanders 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 16-54 19-23 57.

SOUTH DAKOTA (4-6)

Tasos Kamateros 3-7 1-2 7, Stanley Umude 10-14 3-3 27, Xavier Fuller 2-4 2-2 6, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 1-5 2-3 5, A.J. Plitzuweit 6-11 5-5 19, Ty Chisom 2-4 2-4 6, Mason Archambault 3-7 0-0 7,Nikola Zizic 0-0 0-0 0, Damani Hayes 0-0 0-0 0, Kanon Koster 0-0 0-0 0, D.J. Dial 1-1 0-0 2, Edin Smjenanin 0-0 0-0 0, Max Burchill 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 28-54 15-19 79.

At the half: USD 44-29. Three-Pointers: USD 8-23 (Umude 4-7, Plitzuweit 2-5, Perrott-Hunt 1-3, Archambault 1-4, Kamateros 0-2, Fuller 0-1, Chisom 0-1), DU 6-21 (Eastmond 2-4, Green 1-3, Gatlin 1-2, Moenkhaus 1-2, Lam 1-2, Hines 0-3, Townsend 0-4, Sanders 0-1). Rebounds: USD 43 (Umude 11), DU 25 (three with 4). Personal Fouls: USD 19, DU 19. Fouled Out: None. Technical Fouls: Zizic. Assists: USD 13 (Plitzuweit 5), DU 11 (Eastmond 5). Turnovers: USD 15, DU 11. Steals: DU 6 (Gatlin 2), USD 5 (Archambault 4). Blocked Shots: USD 2, DU 2.

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