Men lose 3, prep for final games
The CSC men’s basketball team fell to the Metropolitan State University of Denver Roadrunners Friday, 75-59, and narrowly lost to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Mountain Lions Saturday, 74-73, before losing to the Regis Rangers 76-68 Tuesday.
The Eagles’ next games will be against South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, and Black Hills State University, Spearfish, South Dakota, at home on the Feb. 24 and 25, respectively.
“For the upcoming games it would be amazing if we could pack the gym for the seniors’ last go, to give them a bang to end their college career,” Vonsinh Sayaloune, redshirt freshman of Chadron, said. “We are hoping we can finish strong.”
Friday, MSU Denver opened the game on fire, quickly gaining an 18-point lead. Brian Howard, senior of Maywood, Illinois, scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the first half. The Eagles managed to finish the half on an 8-0 run, leaving the Roadrunners’ lead at 39-29.
With a second half that was almost identical to their first half, the Eagles were unable to tighten the gap.
Despite the Roadrunners field-goal percentage falling to 38, they were able build their lead to as high as 22 in the second half.
The Eagles finished the game shooting 39 percent from the field, one below their first-half total and same as their second.
Once again Darius Polley, junior of Armadillo, Texas, led with 13 points. Only one other Eagle scored double digits: Matt Reader, junior of Appleton, Wisconsin, with 10.
For the Roadrunners, three players scored in double digits, Howard led with 22. Peter Moller, junior of Vaerlose, Denmark, and Cameron Williams, junior of Omaha, scored 15 and 10, respectively.
Unlike Friday, the Eagles managed to keep the game close Saturday. With the Mountain Lions holding a 21-10 lead with 9 minutes to go in the first half, the Eagles answered with a 23-11 run to make the halftime score 33-32 in their favor.
Leigh Saffin, redshirt sophomore of Warrnambool, Australia, scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half. Myles Busby, senior of Nyles, Michigan, scored all of his nine points in the second half too, keeping the Eagles in the game.
Down by three with 15 seconds left, Sayaloune was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. Making his first two free throws—his third rattled out—leaving the final score 74-73.
Polley once again led the Eagles in scoring with 15, while Saffin chipped in 14 and Michael Johnson, freshman of Nassau, Bahamas, added 10.
TreShawn Wilford, senior of Denver, led the Mountain Lions with 16 points. Justin Smith, junior of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Blend Avdili, sophomore of Aurora, Colorado, added 15 and 11, respectively.
With both the Rangers and the Eagles earning similar stats all game, the game once again came down to the wire, Tuesday.
CSC held the lead for 19 minutes compared to Regis, only holding it for 13 minutes. Both teams shot 42 percent from the field, recorded 12 assists, and held the lead eight different times.
The Eagles took a 47-41 lead with 13:30 remaining in the second half, but Regis responded with a 10-2 run to go back on top. The Eagles took the lead one last time 56-54 thanks to a Sayaloune 3-pointer with 7:13 remaining.
The Rangers responded with a Dexter Sienko, junior of Spokane, Washington, dunk to tie the game before Kevin Metoyer, junior of Omaha, hit a free throw to take the lead for good.
Jordan Perry, junior of Murrieta, California, accounted for a season-high 16 points with eight rebounds to lead the Eagles. Saffin scored 12 points and Polley added 11.
“The past three games we’ve shown toughness and the capability to play with anyone,” Sayaloune said. “Even though the outcome hasn’t been in our favor, that hasn’t stopped us from grinding every day.”