Eagles Open RMAC Slate At Home This Weekend


Photo Courtesy/Con Marshall

 Both Chadron State College basketball teams will open their Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference schedules by playing at home this weekend.  Colorado State-Pueblo will be the first opponent with tip-off for the women’s-men’s double-header on Friday at 5:30. The Saturday contests against New Mexico Highlands will begin at 4 p.m.

The Chadron State men are 3-3 after dropping their first three games by a total of 12 points, one of them in overtime and another by a single point on a last-second shot.  Since then the Eagles have rattled off three impressive wins by an average of 24 points.

With just two of last year’s team members seeing action so far, Coach Shane Paben has reloaded the roster with eight junior college transfers who have shown much promise during the non-conference schedule. The Eagles have shot 47.6% from the field, including 40.5% (51-126) from three-point range, and have outscored their foes 84-64 from the free throw line.

The top scorer has been 6-6 junior Isaiah Wyatt, who is averaging 16.8 points while shooting 49% from the field, including 23-45 from long range.  Next up is 6-7 Porter Anderson, one of the returnees from a year ago.  He’s made 25-of-34 shots from the field while averaging 11.5 points. Bryce Latimer, a 5-10 transfer, has come off the bench to average 11.3 points.  Both senior guard Marcus Jefferson, in his third year as CSC’s primary ball handler, and 6-6 junior Josh Robinson, are averaging 9.2 points. 

Robinson has made 25 of 33 field goal shots and is the team’s leading rebounder with a 7.8 average.  For those who have been asking, he’s is not related to Josh Robinson, the Eagles’ All-American and Academic All-American while also becoming the school’s all-time scoring leader with 2,041 points 1988-92.

It appears that the “new” Josh Robinson appears to be someone fans will remember, too.     

The Chadron State women will be seeking their first victory this weekend. They finished their non-conference slate with an 0-6 record while playing exceptional opponents.  None of the six has lost more than once and their cumulative record is 32 wins and 4 losses.

Forward Shay Powers leads the Eagles women while averaging 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Last year’s matchups against Friday night’s foe Colorado State-Pueblo were nail-biters, to be sure.  They were played in the Chicoine Center on Feb. 6 and both went into overtime.  Pueblo won the women’s game 77-74 and the Eagles took the men’s thriller 88-86.

The Lady ThunderWolves finished with a 23-9 record last season and are 3-3 so far this fall. They opened the new season with lopsided losses to Texas-Tyler and Lubbock Christian, but since then have won three of four games at home.  Their victims were Alaska-Fairbanks 83-69, MidAmerica Nazarene 74-55 and Wayland Baptist 77-65. The loss was to Emporia State 65-45.

Five Pueblo women are averaging at least 7.8 points, led by 5-11 super senior Charisse Fairley at 10.8 points a game.  The Wolves’ top player from a year ago, 6-1 Alisha Davis, is on the roster again, but has played only two minutes.  She scored 21 in the OT win over CSC, including six of the 11 overtime points.  Shay Powers also tallied 21 points for the Eagles in that clash.

The Pueblo men were made up largely of freshmen last season. Most have returned.  They include 6-footer Lian Ramiro, who poured in 37 points against the Eagles while connecting on 12 of 26 shots from the field and 11 of 13 free throws.  Also back is 6-9 DeShaun Cooper, who made nine-of-11 field goal shots for 19 points against the Eagles.

Jefferson’s 18 points led CSC in the OT victory last year. 

The CSU-P men won their first four games this fall, including those by scores of 113-68 over Spurgeon College, located in Kansas City, and 103-35 over Bacone of Muskogee, Okla., but last weekend at home they lost to Minnesota State-Moorhead 70-63 and Minot State 81-68.  Five Wolves are averaging in double figures, led by Ramiro’s 13.8 figure.

The Chadron and Highlands teams played twice last year and will do that again this season. Each of the teams won at home and lost on the road when they met a year ago

The New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls are off to a 6-0 start this fall.  Their only close game was a 55-53 win over arch-rival Eastern New Mexico.  The Eagles won 68-63 at home in December last year, but the Cowgirls prevailed 76-71 on the strength of a 31-point fourth quarter and despite 25 points by CSC’s Samiyah Worrell when they tangled again in New Mexico.

In the men’s clashes a year ago, CSC won at home 61-57 behind Jefferson’s 19 points.  By the time the teams met in Las Vegas in February, super senior Sammy Barnes-Thompkins was on the Highlands’ roster and he poured in 30 points during an 85-74 verdict.

Sammy is no longer a Cowboy, but 6-5 senior Dante Moses is shooting 62% from the field and averaging 16.2 points. He scored 30 last Saturday night during Highland’s 76-75 win over Moorhead in the classic that Pueblo hosted.

The Cowboys, who will play at Colorado Christian on Friday night, began this week with a 3-3 record. They lost to Minot State 76-69 on Friday night.  As noted earlier, the Beavers also defeated Pueblo.