|Posted December 1, 2007|
Pack no match for sixth-ranked South Dakota
PUEBLO, Colo. - The ThunderWolves had to play one of its best
games, and hope sixth-ranked South Dakota turned it one of its
worst if it was to win Saturday night.
But the visiting Coyotes might have played its best, leaving the Pack's effort as a moot point as South Dakota triumphed 86-66.
The ThunderWolves did its best to keep a gigantic South Dakota team at bay, one in which none of its starters were shorter than 6-foot-5.
Despite a tough defensive effort by the ThunderWolves, led by Chris Childress, who took down eight boards while also leading the team with 14 points, his career high, South Dakota was simply unstoppable. The Coyotes hit a ridiculous 17 three-pointers, including 9-for-12 in the first half, virtually ensuring a victory before the teams went to the locker room at halftime, leading 47-34.
But the Pack's second half defensive performance was admirable against such a tall team. The Pack reduced the Coyotes' first half shooting percentage of .625 to .429 in the second half.
"I felt that we played pretty good," Pack coach Patrick Eberhart said. "But every time we began to cut into their lead, they hit a big three, and it made for a long night."
The ThunderWolves hadn't faced a team ranked as high as sixth since Metro State came to town in 2005 with a number-two ranking. Facing a team as well-oiled as South Dakota was certainly sobering, Eberhart said.
"They definitely played like the sixth-ranked team in the country, and it was certainly a learning experience for us," Eberhart said. "I doubt we're going to see a team this season as good as South Dakota, and it will help us play at a higher level for the rest of the season."
The Pack fell to 2-4 with the loss, preparing for a road trip to take on Regis and UC-Colorado Springs in the first conference matchups of the season.