It isn't pretty and it isn't fun, but fouling when up three points in the closing seconds is the right call to make. South Dakota didn't foul, and it nearly cost them a shot at the NCAA tournament.

Up 68-65 with 15 seconds left, Western Illinois drove down the left side of the floor. South Dakota had a foul to give because it only committed five fouls in the second half.

The Coyotes instead played the possession out, and it nearly cost them a chance at an NCAA tournament bid. C.J. Duff knocked down a tough corner 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining and forced overtime.

The 15 seconds remaining on the clock made the finish a tricky one for South Dakota. But with a foul to give, the Coyotes should've fouled Western Illinois before Duff even got the 3-pointer off.

After the foul-to-give that should've come, South Dakota could've fouled again and forced the Leathernecks to either rebound a missed free throw or attempt to steal an inbounded pass.

Hindsight is 20/20, but the number-crunchers back the decision to foul. And most coaches would likely agree that fouling late when you have a foul to give is preferable.

In the end, it didn't matter. South Dakota played its hardest when the season was on the line and came away with a 78-69 victory.

However, these end-of-game situations and coaching decisions are certainly something to keep an eye on as the Summit League tournament continues and the NCAA tournament begins.

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