Late surge falls short, men lose two

The Eagles’ men erased all but four of a nearly 20-point deficit Saturday, against Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, ultimately suffering a 62-66 defeat at the hands of the Wolves. CSC was also defeated Friday, falling 70-78 to the Sioux Falls Classic. Both games were played as part of the Dacotah Bank Classic.

The Eagles began chipping away at the Wolves’ 18-point lead about midway through the final half, and scored 12 points with less than two-minutes remaining to trail by just four as Michael Sparks, junior of Denver, sank a three-pointer at the buzzer. 

Despite both teams eventually being nearly identical in scoring stats, the Eagles trailed 24-34 heading into the second half after missing several attempts in the latter half of the first. 

The momentary drought proved damning, as the Eagles would go on to outscore Northern State 38-32 in the second half. 

Three Eagles scored double-digits in the game, led by Sparks with 14. Teammate Adoum Mbang, senior of Yaounde, Cameroon, had 12 points, and Brady Delimont, sophomore of Ainsworth, had 10. 

Chadron’s Jeremy Ruffin, senior of Chicago, nearly got the double-double but fell just short with 12 rebounds and eight points. 10 of Ruffin’s rebounds came defensively. 

Friday, Sparks hit eight of 16 field goals, three of five 3-pointers and was perfect in three attempts from the line for a team-leading 22 points. 

Two of Sparks’ 3-pointers came back to back to open scoring for Chadron State.

Trailing by seven in the first half, the Eagles drew the score within two points with just over one minute remaining, but three late Sioux Falls scores restored a five-point lead by the end of the half. 

Chadron would again get close in the second half, trailing by just a single point with 14:00 remaining, but the Cougars would build a 44-38 lead with six straight points and ride a later surge in scoring to a 14-point lead with just under three minutes remaining in the game.

The Eagles would get back to within seven the final half-minute. 

Chadron’s Mbang had 15 points in the game and Ruffin had 10. 

Sioux Falls’ Drew Guebert, senior of Apple Valley, Minnesota, and Trevon Evans, senior of Wichita, Kansas, combined for 46 points for the Cougars, led by Guebert with 24. 

Sioux Falls has yet to lose a game so far this season.

The now 2-4 Eagles return home Saturday to face MSU Denver.

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