Eagles fall twice at home

Austin Hall (25), junior of Aurora, Colorado, goes up for a shot Saturday during the game against Colorado School of Mines, Golden, at the Chicoine Center. —Photo by Justine Stone

Austin Hall (25), junior of Aurora, Colorado, goes up for a shot Saturday during the game against Colorado School of Mines, Golden, at the Chicoine Center. —Photo by Justine Stone

The Chadron State College men’s basketball team fell to 2-19 overall after losing to Colorado Christian University 90-81 Friday night, before being shut down Saturday 87-57 to Colorado School of Mines, Golden.
“We had two tough losses to two well-coached teams,” Myles Busby, senior of Niles, Michigan, said. “We have to show more heart and effort moving forward these last few weeks of the season.”
The Eagles opened the gate hot Friday, building an 11-point lead within the first five minutes of the game, with the help of a 50 percent field goal percentage. The Cougars slowly clawed back though, making it a four-point game in the Eagles favor at half.
A tough Cougar defense and 20 second-half points from Cougar senior Brett Brady, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, changed the game.
The Eagles couldn’t slow down the Cougars offense, who shot 57 percent from the field and made 29 of 34 free throws for the half. The Eagles rallied late to close the gap to four points with a minute remaining, but late Cougar free throws sealed the game.
Four players scored in double digits for the Eagles, led by Darius Polley, junior of Amarillo, Texas, with 17. Warren Gordon, senior of Indianapolis, broke out of his slump, adding 16, while Jordan Perry, junior of Murrieta, California, and Michael Johnson, freshman of Nassau, Bahamas, added 13 and 11, respectively.
Brady finished with a game-high 27 points for the Cougars. Dimitri Saliba, senior of Salt Lake City; Jacob Taylor, senior of Westminster, Colorado; Stefan Hackethal, redshirt sophomore of Wheat Ridge, Colorado; and Jacob Vandenbrink, junior of Bellevue, Washington, each had 12.
Colorado School of Mines opened the game on fire with a 24-4 lead and led 44-18 at halftime. With the Orediggers shooting 52 percent from the field, the Eagles never managed to close the gap past 21 in the second half. As a team, CSC shot 21 percent from the field in the first half, improving to 40 in the second.
Returning from injury, Busby shot 3-4 from the field and 8-8 from the free-throw line, scoring 14 points for the Eagles. Perry was the only other double-digit scorer with 10.
RMAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Gokul Natesan, senior of Santa Clara, California, had a game-high 29 points for the Orediggers. Ben Clare, redshirt sophomore of St. Petersburg, Florida; Murphy Gershman, senior of Tucson, Arizona; and Luke Golter, redshirt freshman of Longmont, Colorado, each scored 12.
“We need to get everyone on the same page, making sure we have everybody brought in on how we’re trying to end the season,” Busby said. “It’s not about basketball, more so about establishing a foundation of building a culture of toughness and grittiness, and doing what’s right on and off the court.”
CSC is on the road this weekend, playing Metropolitan State University of Denver, Friday, and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Saturday. Tipoff against MSU-D is scheduled for 7 p.m., with the UCCS game scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

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