After winning its last three games at home by impressive margins, the Chadron State College men’s basketball team will visit the South Dakota Mines Hardrockers in Rapid City on Saturday night, then play in the Chicoine Center again next week against Colorado Christian on Tuesday night and Western Colorado on Thursday night.
The Eagles are 11-8 overall and 8-5 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action, putting them in fifth in the standings.
The three wins have been over Adams State 92-80, Colorado-Colorado Springs 78-56 and Regis 94-71.
The Eagles are averaging 76.8 points while giving up 71.3 per game. They are shooting 45.6% from the field, including 38.6% from 3-point range. Coach Shane Paben also likes to point out his team has chocked up 44 more assists than turnovers (271-227).
Isaiah Wyatt is the team’s scoring leader at 15.8 points a game and has made 45.4% (54-119) of his 3-point attempts to rank third in the conference. Josh Robinson is second on the CSC scoring list at 12.6 points a game while shooting 61.1% from the field to lead the RMAC. Robinson is also fifth in the conference rebounding at 8.5 a game.
Super-sub Bryce Latimer, who poured in 33 points against Regis last Saturday, also is averaging in double figures in scoring at 12.5 a game. Other newcomers MJ Foust, Pat McLachlan and Jarrett Taylor are each averaging about six points a game while providing about 20 valuable minutes a game.
One of the returnees from a year ago, Porter Anderson, has filled the post position capably on both offense and defense. He has made 60 of 110 shots from the field while averaging 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds. When he’s fouled he makes the other teams pay. He’s sunk 42 of 50 free shots.
Senior point guard Marcus Jefferson averaged 12.7 points, second best on the team, last year, but with other capable scorers available this year, he has concentrated more on other facets of the game. He has handed out 56 assists, turned the ball over just 26 times and is the steals leader with 19. Defense is another of his fortes.
The South Dakota Mines men are 6-13 overall and 5-7 in the conference. Two of their RMAC wins have been in overtime. Three of the losses have been by two or three points. They lost to Black Hills State 76-70 Tuesday night.
The Hardrockers’ offense features a three-man attack. The scoring leader is 6-4 sophomore Brevan Walter at 21 points a game. While he’s shooting just 37% from the field, teams have tried to guard him. He’s 116 of 141 at the free throw line for 82.3%.
Mines’ point guard Alejandro Rama missed 10 games early in the season, but has started the last nine conference games and is averaging 18.4 points, after scoring 25 points, all in the first half, against Black Hills.
The third big gun for Coach Eric Glenn’s team is 6-7 senior Kolten Mortensen. He is averaging 13.7 points and has made 46 of 97 three-pointers for 47.4%, second best in the RMAC, a smidgeon ahead of Wyatt’s figure.
The CSC-Mines women’s game will tip off the double-header at 5:30 Saturday night. The teams have identical records after Black Hills won 53-46 over the Lady Rockers on Tuesday night. Both CSC and Mines are 3-10 in the conference and 3-16 overall.
Both have a special player. The Eagles’ Shay Powers, a 5-10 sophomore who has been the RMAC Player of the Week twice this winter, is shooting 56.4% from the field and averaging 17.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. Senior Samiyah Worrall is next on the CSC scoring list at 10.3 points a game.
The Lady Rockers’ Piper Bauer, a 5-7 sophomore, has made a team-high 57 treys and is averaging 13.6 points to lead their scoring. Teammates Madelyn Heiser and Naomi Hidalgo are averaging about 8 points apiece.