Chadron State College Head Coach Shane Paben called it “an ugly win,” but the Eagles were victorious for the fifth game in a row by defeating New Mexico Highlands 71-61 Saturday evening on their home court.
The Eagles jumped out to a 19-4 lead in the first 7 minutes and 46 seconds, were ahead 37-29 at halftime and led the rest of the way except for about 70 seconds in the second half when the score was knotted at 44-44 after the Cowboys had completed a 15-3 run.
After Paben “encouraged” his players during a time out, they responded with a 12-2 run to go ahead 56-46 with 9:31 still on the clock. Although Highlands was back within five points with eight minutes showing, The Eagles led by double digits the final five minutes.
While the Eagles did some good things, such as sink 9-of-22 three-point shots and out-rebound the visitors 45-33, Paben said they were not happy with how they played.
“There wasn’t a lot of juice in the gym and we didn’t play with as much energy as we’ll need to have for the second game when we play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night in our conference,” Paben said. “It’s something we’ll need to improve on, but it’s good to be 2-0 in the conference now.”
The Eagles also won their RMAC opener 83-71 over Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday night, and are 5-3 for the season.
Chadron State, which shot 43.3% (26-60) from the field, was led in scoring by Isaiah Wyatt and Bryce Latimer with 18 points apiece. Wyatt was seven-of-15 from the field, including four-of-eight on threes. He also tallied 18 points Friday night.
Latimer, who poured in 24 against Pueblo, was 6-of-10 from the field, made one of his three shots from behind the arc, and hit five-of-six charity tosses against Highlands.
Forward Josh Robinson added 10 points and was the game’s high rebounder with 11 for the Eagles. Teammates Porter Anderson, Jarrett Taylor and Pat McLachlan all scored six points. Anderson pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Cowboys were led by 6-5 senior Dante Moses, who was nine-of-17 from the field for 18 points and claimed nine rebounds. Jalen Munn contributed 12 points and Tyrell Coleman 11. Eric Sonnerberg, who had seven points, grabbed 10 caroms.
Highlands shot 38.8% (26-67) from the field that included just four-of-24 from behind the arc. The Cowboys missed their first six long range shots before connecting on their first with four minutes left in the opening half.
The Cowboys, who bested Colorado Christian in Lakewood 73-62 Friday night prior to coming to Chadron now 4-4 for the season.
The Eagles will play on the road the next two weeks, beginning Wednesday, when they visit the Christian Cougars. They also play Western Colorado at Gunnison on Friday night, Dec. 9.
N.M. Highlands—Dane Moses 18, Jalen Munn 12, Tyrell Coleman 11, Eric Sonnenberg 7, Tyler Rodgers 7, Ezichi Kalu 4, Chris Freeman 2. Totals: 27-67 (4-24) 5-7 61 points, 33 rebounds, 5 turnovers.
Chadron State—Isaiah Wyatt 18, Bryce Latimer 18, Josh Robinson 10, Porter Anderson 6, Jarrett Taylor 6, Pat McLachlan 6, MJ Foust 4, Martin Poznanovic 3. Totals: 26-60 (9-22) 10-13 71 points, 45 rebounds, 13 turnovers.
N.M. Highlands 29 32 —61
Chadron State 37 34 —71
3-pointers: NMHU–Munn 2, Rodgers 1, Coleman 1. CSC—Wyatt 4, Taylor 2, McLachlan 2, Latimer 1.