Chadron State College guard KJ Harris led five Eagle scorers in double digits, as the team piled its most points on a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opponent in 19 years, winning 107-96 in Gunnison on Saturday night.
The last time CSC eclipsed 107 in a league game was nearly exactly 19 years ago, on January 17, 2003, when CSC went to overtime at Southern Colorado, now CSU-Pueblo, in a 110-106 road win. Individual box scores were only readily available since 2000-01, but the Eagles last scored 107 in regulation, against a league opponent, in their 1997-98 season finale at home against Colorado School of Mines.
Harris was in the flow, well past the 5:00 mark of the second half. Until a three-point miss around 4:30 remaining, the junior from McKinney, Texas, was 7-of-7 from the field, 3-of-3 from long range, and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He finished the game with only that one miss and two additional makes from the foul line.
Just under five minutes into the game, WCU’s Kade Juelfs, son of a CSC Hall of Famer, hit a three-pointer to give the Mountaineers their largest lead of the game, at 18-11.
CSC never trailed again after a Harris three at 12:49 in the first made it 20-18 Eagles. Western tied the game at 10:47, with the scoreboard reading 24-24, but it trailed the rest of the way.
After going up 58-45 to enter halftime, a three by CJ Jennings at 12:55 in the second period gave the Eagles their largest advantage at 78-62.
Elijah Davidson’s dunk at 8:24 cut the Mountaineers’ deficit to 81-75. Then in the double-bonus, their free throw shooting kept them in the game until their foul total caught up at about five minutes to play.
The Eagles sank 12-of-14 from the foul line, down the stretch, to finish with their fifth double-digit win of the season and improve to 7-10 overall, 3-6 in RMAC play.
The Mountaineers fall to 3-12 on the season, and 2-7 in the league, with the loss.
Harris finished with 23 points for CSC with three rebounds and two assists.
Marcus Jefferson double-doubled for the Eagles, scoring 18 and grabbing 10 boards to lead the team.
The other CSC players to score in double figures were CJ Jennings with 17, Mason Hiemstra with 15, and Porter Anderson with 13. Hiemstra returned to action for the first time in more than two weeks.
Two Western Colorado players did the abundance of scoring for their team. They were guards Matthew Ragsdale with 24 points, and Davidson at 22 points. Davidson led both team with 13 rebounds and six assists.
CSC plays next on Tuesday at Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. following the women’s game at 5:30 p.m.