SIOUX FALLS | Western Illinois presented a stiff challenge but South Dakota put up a big defensive effort in overtime to gain a 78-69 win in the first round of the Summit League men's basketball tournament Saturday.
The top-seed Coyotes (22-10), who have won seven in a row, outscored the No. 8 Leathernecks 10-1 in the extra session and move on to the second round Monday. Either South Dakota State or Denver will be USD's next foe.
Tyler Flack scored five of the Coyotes' points in overtime and ended with 19 for the game. Matt Mooney had 25 points to lead South Dakota.
Flack hit a layup and free throw 33 seconds into overtime to put the Coyotes up 71-68 and after WIU scored its only point of OT on a free throw, added a thunderous dunk to put his team up 73-69.
South Dakota looked like it was going to advance in regulation when Mooney hit a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to put it up 68-65. Western Illinois had other ideas when freshman C.J. Duff forced the extra time after hitting a difficult 3-point shot from the corner with 12 seconds left and the Coyotes missed on a last-second try.
Garret Covington had 25 points to lead Western Illinois, which lost 11 of its final 13 games after starting the Summit League season 3-1.