VERMILLION – A pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds left by A.J. Plitzuweit broke an 84-84 tie to give USD an 86-84 victory over Oral Roberts Saturday afternoon in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

“I just wanted to put them in,” Plitzuweit said. “I wanted to make the, get a stop on defense and win the game.”

With 1:28 to play, Plitzuweit buried a step back three-pointer to give USD an 84-82 lead. Carlos Jurgens answered with a lay-up and the game was tied at 84 with 63 seconds left. Oral Roberts had two opportunities to score in the final minute before Plitzuweit picked up a foul and went to the free throw line.

Max Abmas received the in-bounds following the free throws by Plitzuweit, but was unable to get a three-pointer at the buzzer to fall.

Plitzuweit exploded in the second half for 27 points, finishing with 37 for the game. He shot 8-for-11 from beyond the arc. Plitzuweit was matched offensively by Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas, who scored 36 points and was 7-for-9 from beyond the arc.

“You saw two of the better guards really in the country,” USD head coach Todd Lee said. “Max Abmas is a handful. I felt like we guarded him well, but before he missed the last shot he was 7-for-8 from the three. Obviously A.J. played really well.”

Xavier Fuller was the biggest contributor outside Plitzuweit for the Coyotes. Fuller tallied 22 points and seven rebounds. Stanley Umude added 11 points.

“Xavier is very good around the basket,” Lee said. “We run things to get him layups and get him touches inside, but when he’s making threes, he’s an excellent offensive player.”

Kevin Obanor and Carlos Jurgens pitched in 14 points apiece for the Golden Eagles. Obanor also grabbed a game high eight rebounds.

The Coyotes built a six-point halftime lead, 40-34, thanks to 13 points from Fuller and 10 from Plitzuweit.

“He (Lee) told me before the game, just shoot the ball,” Fuller said. “I think the first one went in and I had all the confidence in the world to let them go.”

With the win, USD holds a one game advantage on SDSU for first in the Summit league. North Dakota State is tied with the Jackrabbits for second and Oral Roberts is one game behind those two in fourth. The Coyotes and Golden Eagles met again Sunday, while the Jackrabbits and Bison play in Fargo this weekend.

USD hosts Oral Roberts at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Sanford Coyotes Sports Center.

Follow @BaileyZubke on Twitter.


Kevin Obanor 5-13 2-3 14, Carlos Jurgens 5-10 2-2 14, Kareem Thompson 2-7 2-2 6, Max Abmas 13-18 3-3 36, Francis Lacis 1-3 0-2 2, Sheldon Stevens 0-2 0-0 0, D’Mauria Jones 2-2 0-0 4, DeShang Weaver 3-5 0-0 8. TOTALS: 31-60 9-10 84.


Stanley Umude 5-13 0-0 11, A.J. Plitzuweit 13-23 3-3 37, Xavier Fuller 8-13 3-3 22, Tasos Kamateros 2-7 0-0 4, Kruz Perrott-Hunt 1-4 0-0 2, Boogie Anderson 3-3 0-0 6, Kanon Koster 1-2 0-0 2, Brady Heiman 0-0 2-2 2. TOTALS: 33-65 8-8 86.

At the Half: USD 40, ORU 34. Three-Pointers: ORU 13-31 (Abmas 7-9, Obanor 2-5, Jurgens 2-5, Weaver 2-4, Lacis 0-2, Stevens 0-2, Thompson 0-4), USD 12-20 (Fuller 3-4, Plitzuweit 8-11, Umude 1-4, Kamateros 0-1). Rebounds: USD 32 (Fuller 7), ORU 28 (Obanor 8). Personal Fouls: ORU 15, USD 12. Assists: USD 15 (Umude 5, Perrott-Hunt 5), ORU 6 (Jurgens 2). Turnovers: ORU 13, USD 13. Steals: USD 8 (Fuller 3), ORU 6 (Jurgens 3). Blocked Shots: ORU 2 (Jurgens 1, Lacis 1), USD 1 (Fuller). Attendance: 1,007.


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