The Eagles’ Basketball team scored a season high 76 points in its first RMAC duel of the season, defeating the Roadrunners of MSU Denver, 76-67, Saturday.
“It’s a great feeling to be 1-0. We enjoyed our time winning that big one, and now we are back to 0-0 preparing for the next one. We can’t become satisfied,” Diontae Champion, senior of Pearl, Mississippi, said.
Following a competitive first half the Eagles began asserting themselves about midway through the second half, building a 17-point lead on the Roadrunners with less than five minutes remaining.
Champion led CSC in scoring with 16 total points and added eight rebounds. Overall, the Eagles shot 41 percent from the field and made 11 of 24 3-point shots while limiting MSU Denver to just 2 of 16.
“We are all starting to play our roll and have fun while we do it,” Champion said.
Chadron State’s Brady Delimont, sophomore of Ainsworth, was the Eagles’ most successful 3-point shooter, sinking four of eight.
“We’ve been able to do it all year long,” Chadron Head Coach Houston Reed said of his team’s ability to score beyond the arc. “We’re first or second in 3-point percentage in the league right now, and the reason is we only take good shots. We have guards that get the ball out of their hands and be have some bigs inside like Chuck (Gavin), Adoum (Mbang), and Jacob (Jefferson) that sink the floor in and stretch things out.”
The return of guard, Colby Jackson, Junior of Las Vegas, provided a spark for the Eagles after missing the first month of action. Jackson contributed eight points and five assists.
“It felt really good, and it was fun to get out there and play in front of the home (crowd) right before winter break. It made me feel like I was in the correct place,” Jackson said.
The win, which had energy levels at Chicoine at a season high, stopped a two-game Eagles losing streak.
“We previously had two losses where we feel we played well enough to win but weren’t able to finish plays and finish the way we wanted to,” Coach Reed said, “We were able to do that tonight. That’s rewarding for the guys, and as a coach being able to watch and help them through it is rewarding as well.
Reed credits his team’s successes on their ability to play as a unit and celebrates their buying into the program.
“Not taking away from anyone who has played for us in the past, but this is the first year we have across the board players who were recruited into the program” Reed said. “We are focused on recruiting and profiling personalities, so once we get them all together they should have the same type of energy and mindset. That’s where chemistry is made.”
The win improved the team to 3-4 overall, 1-0 in conference play, while MSU Denver falls to 1-3 overall, 0-1 in conference play.
The Eagles travel to Colorado for a double-header weekend against conference opponents Colorado Christian University, Friday, and Regis, Saturday.
Colorado Christian sits with a 2-5 overall record and a 0-1 conference record. Regis currently sits with a 4-2 overall record and a 1-0 conference record.
The Eagles will be without one of their most consistent players in Jeremy Ruffin who dislocated his shoulder early in the matchup with MSU-Denver. Following the contest Ruffin said he was told he’d be out for about a week. Monday, Coach Reed indicated that he considers Ruffin week-to-week, though no official determination has been made.
conference record. Regis currently sits with a 4-2 overall record and a 1-0 conference record.