SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The University of South Dakota and Florida Gulf Coast University are returning to the Sanford Pentagon in 2015-16, this time to face each other. The Coyotes and Eagles have agreed to a game at the venue on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday at 11 a.m. at ticketmaster.com and the Pentagon box office.
USD played at the Pentagon a year ago, falling to UNLV 75-61. FGCU defeated South Dakota State 71-58 at the venue last season. Both games sold out.
The game becomes part of a bustling week of basketball at the Pentagon, which also hosts the Mike Miller Classic on Dec. 29 and the Boys’ Sanford Pentagon Classic on Jan. 2.
“The University of South Dakota travels well, so we are expecting a lot of red and another sellout” said Eric Larsen, general manager of the Sanford Sports Complex. “It was a pleasure hosting Florida Gulf Coast last season, and the opportunity to bring that program back to face one of our local teams was too good to pass up.”
USD went 17-16 last season under first-year head coach Craig Smith. The Coyotes’ 9-7 record in the Summit League tied them for fourth in the final 2014-15 standings.
“The Pentagon is a world class venue,” said Smith. “Our players and everyone involved with our game last year in the Pentagon had a fantastic experience. This game in Sioux Falls is a great way to play in front of our largest alumni and donor base.”
FGCU finished 22-11 in 2014-15 and was the Atlantic Sun’s regular-season runner-up with an 11-3 mark. The Eagles accepted an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament after advancing to the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament. In 2012-13, FGCU, often referred to as “Dunk City,” made history by becoming the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
“The people at the Sanford Pentagon run a first-class event,” said FGCU head coach Joe Dooley. “The great hospitality we experienced from everyone last year made it an easy choice for us to return again this season. South Dakota is coming off a good year and traditionally has been a very solid program. We’re looking forward to the matchup with them and getting a chance to play in the Pentagon again.”
The contest will be the first between USD and FGCU and the seventh Division I men’s basketball game in the Pentagon since it opened in 2013.
Division I Men’s Basketball at Sanford Pentagon
Nov. 8, 2013 - Wisconsin 86, St. John’s 75
Nov. 18, 2014 - Wichita State 71, Memphis 56
Nov. 30, 2014 - Florida Gulf Coast 71, South Dakota State 58
Dec. 13 2014 - UNLV 75, South Dakota 61
Nov. 13, 2015 - Iowa State vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.
Dec. 12, 2015 - Minnesota vs. Oklahoma State, TBD
Dec. 28, 2015 - Florida Gulf Coast vs. South Dakota, 7 p.m.
About the Sanford Pentagon
The cornerstone of the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the Sanford Pentagon, a 160,000-square-foot, five-sided facility featuring nine basketball courts, including the 1950s/1960s-inspired Heritage Court. The venue combines state-of-the-art amenities—including high-definition video boards and executive suites—with period-specific finishes that are a nod to the nostalgic days of basketball.
The 3,200-seat Pentagon is home to Sanford POWER Basketball Academy, Sanford POWER Volleyball Academy, the NBA D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament and the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame. For more information, visit sanfordpentagon.com.