Eagles Rally Past Highlands 61-57

Senior guard Marcus Jefferson scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the second half while leading the Chadron State College basketball team’s rally past New Mexico Highlands 61-57 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game played in the Chicoine Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Eagles struggled mightily with their field goal shooting in the first half, making just five of 22 shots for only 22.7%, including going 0 of 10 from the 3-point line. It was largely because they had made 11 of 12 free throws that they trailed the Cowboy by just 28-21 at halftime.

Jefferson’s layup and free throw with 9:40 remaining tied the score at 38-38. He also tallied nine of his team’s 15 points in the last five minutes to help complete the game-winning surge. Three times he drove for layups, two of them an instant before the shot clock expired, and also nailed a three-pointer during the stretch run.

The Eagles’ remaining six points the sealed the deal in the last two minutes. They came on a 10-foot jumper by CJ Jennings and four free throws by TJ Harris. The final four-point difference was Chadron State’s largest lead in the second half.

After being so cold from the field in the first half, the Eagles connected on 14 of 25 field goal shots for 56% in the second half, including four of eight from long range. They also continued their precise free throw shooting, making eight of nine in the final 20 minutes, giving them 19 of 21 at the line altogether.

Aside from Jennings, center Porter Anderson was the Eagles’ only other double-figure scorer with 12 points. Harris added nine and Jennings eight.

Andre Adams, a 6-9 graduate student, and Marcus Brown, a 6-4 senior, led Highlands with 14 points apiece. Adams also had a game-high eight rebounds.

The Cowboys were 22 of 54 from the field for 40.4%, including 4 of 12 on three-pointers. They were 9 of 15 from the line.

The Eagles are now 6-8 for the season and 2-4 in the RMAC. Highlands is 5-6 and 0-5. Four of the latter’s team’s losses have been by five or fewer points.

Following a Christmas break, both Chadron State teams will resume their schedules by playing at Colorado Mines on New Year’s Eve and at Regis on New Year’s Day.

New Mexico Highlands—Andre Adams 14, Marcus Brown 14, Darius Harris 8, Ja’Vary Christmas 6, Bryce Sanchious 5, Desmond Carpenter 5, Will Johnson 3, Tyler Rogers 2. Totals: 22-54 (4-12) 9-15 57 points, 33 rebounds, 14 assists, 17 turnovers.
Chadron State—Marcus Jefferson 19, Porter Anderson 12, KJ Harris 9, CJ Jennings 8, Joniya Gadson 7, Teddy Parham 6. Totals: 19-47 (4-18) 19-21 61 points, 34 rebounds, 12 assists, 16 turnovers.

N.H. Highlands 28 29 —57
Chadron State 21 40 —61

3-pointers: NMHU—Brown 2, Carpenter 1, Sanchious 1. CSC—Jefferson 2, Parham 1, Harris 1.

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