Jefferson’s Double-Double Helps Eagles Soar Over Rangers

Photo Courtesy: Con Marshall

The Chadron State College men’s basketball evened its record at 2-2, all in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play, with a 74-59 win over visiting Regis (1-5, 1-3 RMAC) on Monday evening at the Chicoine Center.

“Credit the guys for coming together and playing as a team down the stretch,” said CSC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Shane Paben. “We’re slowly starting to learn how to win. These guys are working really hard and they’re the ones getting the wins. It’s a team effort.”

Junior forward Jacob Jefferson recorded his first career double-double in the victory, CSC’s first over the Rangers since February 2016. He posted 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, adding a career-high 13 rebounds and three assists to lead the Eagles in the first two categories.

The Rangers took a 12-7 lead early in the game, before CSC went on a 19-5 run to take its biggest lead of the first period at 26-17 with 4:09 until the midpoint. During that 10-minute stretch, the Eagles got eight points and an assist from Teddy Parham, Jr., seven points from Kayden Sund, and four points from Jefferson with seven boards and an assist.

Returning from the locker room down 28-23 at the half, Regis did not stand down, but instead got a flurry of buckets from Australian guard Will Cranston-Lown. The sophomore from down under poured in 10 points in the first four and a half minutes, including a three-point play, to tie the game at 35 apiece. He had four of his team’s first five field goals of the half.

Regis briefly led again at 14:55 to play, but a Psalm Maduakor three-pointer soon afterward gave CSC the lead for good at the 14:41 mark.

At that point, the Eagles stretched their advantage to double-digits for the first time in the game over a 10-minute stretch, during which Marcus Jefferson had 10 of his 14 points and Jacob Jefferson added seven. The pair knocked down five of the team’s six field goals during the run, and they were 5-for-6 from the foul line.

Chadron State was good on 16 of its 17 second half free throws, hitting its last 13 consecutive shots from the charity stripe over the final seven minutes. The Eagles finished 24-of-28 overall from the foul line for a team percentage of 85.7 percent. Sund had a large part to play in that accuracy, hitting all 10 of his tries from the line.

Sund finished with a career-high 17 points, plus six rebounds, and did not miss from anywhere on the court going 3-for-3 from the field and 1-for-1 from three, in addition to his success at foul shots.

Parham added 15 points hitting 4-of-9 from the field. Marcus Jefferson was the only other Eagles’ player in double-digit scoring, and had a game-high five assists.

Cranston-Lown led the Rangers with 22 points, going on another scoring binge in the final four minutes of the game. Senior guard Troy Brady added 17 points.

CSC gets a reprieve from the standard two-game road trip, if not the miles traveled, in the upcoming week, when it makes a trip to Salt Lake City for a return game with Westminster College. The Eagles won 66-60 when the pair of squads met in Chadron to open the season on December 11.