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The University of South Dakota men's basketball program will now need to find a new coach.

Craig Smith, who guided the Coyotes to a 26-9 record, stepped down from his position with USD to become Utah State's new head coach.


"Our family and I are pumped to join Utah State University and the community of Logan," Smith said in a release issued by USU. "Utah State men's basketball has tremendous leadership from the top in President (Noelle) Cockett, athletic director John Hartwell, and all the way down. It was easy to see and feel that our visions were aligned when it comes to running a successful basketball program.

"Utah State has a rich tradition of excellence with tremendous fan support. The Dee Glen Smith Spectrum is one of the best home-court atmospheres in the country and I am amped to see 'The HURD' in full force. We are looking forward to making USU hoops a force in the Mountain West."

In four seasons in Vermillion Smith went 79-55 and his teams went to the postseason all four times. The Coyotes also won the 2016-17 regular season Summit League championship, and Smith was named the Summit League Coach of the Year.

A release from USD athletics said a search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Rush activate Collins from reserve list

The Rapid City Rush have activated defenseman Anthony Collins from reserve for the final five games of the Rush's season.

Collins has eight points in 47 games this season and his fourth on the team with 74 penalty minutes.

The Rush also suspended Geoff Fortman and Chris Leibinger, but a Rush official said both cases were not for discipline. Fortman will finish the season with the SPHL's Peoria Rivermen and Leibinger will rest for the remainder of the season with an injury.

At 21-40-3-3 the Rush take on the Quad City Mallards Friday in the beginning of the final home series of the year for Rapid City.

USD women bounced in WNIT quarterfinals 

The University of South Dakota women's basketball season ended in the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitational Tournament Sunday night.

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TCU advanced past the Coyotes 79-71 and will face Indiana in the semifinals Wednesday.

The Horned Frogs won on the glass, outrebounding USD 38-30.

In a back and forth first quarter TCU came out on top 19-16, but a 22-13 run in the final eight minutes put the Coyotes up at halftime 42-39.

The third quarter was where TCU came back and took the lead for good. It outscored USD 20-13 and led 59-56 at the end of the quarter.

The Horned Frogs sealed the deal by winning the fourth quarter 20-16.

Jordan Moore scored 26 points for TCU which led all scorers. Kianna Ray also had 10 for the Horned Frogs.

Jaycee Bradley led the Coyotes with 21 points while Allison Arens had 15 and Ciara Duffy had 12.

USD finishes the season 29-7 while TCU moves to 23-12.

Contact Geoff Preston at

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.