The Chadron State College men’s basketball team, which had won just one of its previous four games in January, closed out the month with one of its biggest victories in long while, coming from behind to upset Metro State in Denver 78-76 on Friday night.
The Eagles trailed by as many as 13 points late in the first half and by 10 twice in the second half before taking their first lead at 65-63 on a three-pointer by guard Marcus Jefferson with 5:47 to play. Jefferson also made a 2-point shot that put his team ahead for keeps at 73-72 with 80 seconds remaining and added three free throws and a steal down the stretch.
Jefferson intentionally missed his final free throw with less than a second left on the clock so the Roadrunners could not set up for a three-pointer that could have won the game
Jefferson led the Eagles with 19 points, CJ Jennings made 4-of-6 three-point shots while scoring 16 and K.J. Harris, Porter Anderson and Mason Hiemstra each added 10. Harris, the smallest player on the floor, also claimed nine rebounds while teammate Teddy Parham grabbed eight to go with seven points.
The Eagles were 27 of 56 for 48.2% from the field while Metro was 34 of 61 for 55.7%, but the visitors were 10 of 24 from behind the arc and the Roadrunners only three of 16. CSC also was 14 of 20 at the free throw line and Metro five of seven.
Chadron State Coach Shane Paben called it “a great win.” He said his players “had their dobbers down” after losing three Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games by three points apiece.
“I think this will give us some spark,” Paben said. “The players deserve all the credit. They really competed tonight. Metro’s shooting was incredible (20 of 31 for 64.5%) in the first half, but we kept playing hard and shot well ourselves.”
The Eagles, now 8-12 overall and 4-8 in the conference, had a 21-13 rebounding edge in the second half and outscored the Roadrunners 12-6 on second chance points.
Metro, which entered the game with a 12-5 season record and was 7-4 in the RMAC, had an 8-1 record at home prior to Friday night. The Eagles had not defeated the Roadrunners in Denver since February 2012 and also have won just once in the home-and-home series in Chadron during that 10-year stretch.
The Roadrunners were led by 6-foot-8 sophomore Laolu Oke, who made all 12 of his field goal shots for 24 points, 16 of them in the first half. He also tied Harris for most rebounds with nine. In addition, Metro got 20 points from 6-6 Miles Gibson, 10 in each half.
The Eagles will host Colorado State-Pueblo and Adams State this coming weekend.
Chadron State—Marcus Jefferson 19, CJ Jennings 16, KJ Harris 10, Porter Anderson 10, Mason Hiemstra 10, Teddy Parham 7, Beau Bragg 4, Tejaun Hale 2. Totals: 27-56 (10-24) 14-20 78 points, 32 rebounds, 13 turnovers.
Metro State—Laolu Oke 24, Miles Gibson 20, Tyrei Randall 10, Ra’Shawn Langston 9, Maris Colton 9, Keyshaad Dixon 2, Ghage Kenan 2. Totals: 34-61 (3-16) 5-7 76 points, 28 rebounds, 15 turnovers.
Chadron State 36 42 —-78
Metro State 44 32 —-76
3-pointers: CSC—Jennings 4, Jefferson 2, Harris 2, Hiemstra 1, Parham 1. MSU-D—Randall 2, Langston 1