South Dakota School of Mines and Technology were living the dream going into the locker room with a four-point halftime lead against No. 25 UAFS during Friday’s nonconference game.
The Lions, however, quickly turned the Hardrockers’ dream of an upset into a nightmare. Four players scored in double-figures as UAFS rallied for dominating 101-87 win at Goodell Gymnasium in Rapid City, S.D.
UAFS, which this week earned its first national ranking since Jan. 11, 2009 and its first as a NCAA Division II program, remained unbeaten at 6-0, continuing its best start since becoming a Division II program in the fall of 2009.
The Lions shot 52 percent from the field in the first half (13 for 25), but the Hardrockers countered with a sizzling 63-percent shooting effort (19 for 30) to lead 42-38 at halftime.
UAFS, which had been in South Dakota since Wednesday, responded to South Dakota School of Mines and Technology’s challenge in the final 20 minutes, shooting 58 percent from the field (21 for 36) and holding the Hardrockers to 48-percent shooting (12 for 25).
The Lions used a potent perimeter attack to ignite their comeback, sinking eight of their 10 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes while outscoring the Hardrockers 63-45.
Freshman guard Seth Youngblood led the Lions with 23 points, draining seven 3-pointers. Senior guard Jake Toupal chipped in 18 points, sinking two 3-pointers. Junior guard Tramel White and freshman guard Alex Cooper added 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Junior guard/forward Miha Glavas just missed a double-double with seven points and nine rebounds, helping the Lions out-rebound the Hardrockers by 13 rebounds (35-22).
Andrew Rebol led the Hardrockers with 18 points, while Trevor Zacher and Michael Dietz added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Dietz and Calvin Thomas led South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with four rebounds apiece.