Senior center Moala Tautuaa, of San Francisco, collected a career-high 30 points, snagged seven rebounds and passed the 1,000 point mark in his career during Saturday’s 91-85 home win over visiting Western New Mexico, Silver City.
Tautuaa was more concerned with the victory itself than his personal statistics.
“I didn’t know about the points until after the game, but I was more excited to celebrate the win with the team,” Tautuaa said.
This second straight win takes the Eagles to 4-11 overall and 4-7 in the RMAC.
A slow start and a 33.3 percent (9-27) shooting effort left Chadron down 35-32 at the half. After the break, the Eagles were able to sustain their shooting success, sinking 73.1 percent (19-26). For the game, the Eagles had only eight turnovers and converted 16 of 20 at the foul line.
Head Coach Brent Bargen was pleased with the team’s performance.
“First and foremost was the mentality. The energy and effort was much better and it was refreshing to be back home where we played free, hard and unselfish,” said Bargen.
Tautaa’s strong individual performance was aided by a solid showing from Kevin McClelland, senior of Long Beach, Calif., who is currently ranked 5th in the conference in scoring. McClelland sank 21 points and added four rebounds, Sammy Hines, junior of Detroit, Mich., added 11 points and a team-high five assists while Chris Curtis, senior of Tustin, Calif., chipped in eight points.
“We want to continue this streak and use the momentum. When we take care of our jobs we’re better than most teams,” Tautaa said.
Chadron also enjoyed an 87-75 victory over New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas,
Chadron will get a chance to continue its winning streak this weekend as they travel to Colorado State University, Pueblo, 8-7 overall (5-6 RMAC), on Friday, and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 7-10 overall (6-5 RMAC) on Saturday. CSU-Pueblo ranks 4th in scoring defense while UCCS ranks 5th in scoring offense and leads the conference in 3-pointers.
“We hope to take the same mentality on the road and battle through adversity,” Bargen said.