Led by 4-of-6 three-point shooting by Chadron native Vonsinh Sayaloune, the Chadron State College men’s basketball team gave up a streaky contest at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, by a score of 69-63, Friday evening.
“We gave up 18 offensive rebounds. In the first half, that was a key, and in the second half we did better. You can tell it’s the first conference road game for some of our guys. But the first half was the deciding factor in the game. It came down to the last four or five possessions that we didn’t execute, and they did.”
CSC held the lead in the first half for a total of more than seven and a half minutes, fueled by a 4-for-8 start from the field. However, the Mountain Lions locked down on defense and blocked three Eagle shots in about two minutes. Their 12-0 run, in a three-minute spurt which followed, benefited from an 8-of-14 shooting performance to finish the half.
The Eagles shot 16.7 percent from three point range in the first half while the Mountain Lions were 54.5 percent.
Chadron State started the second half on a 4-of-7 binge from the field, ending with a Sayaloune three-pointer to draw the Eagles to within 38-35.
Another huge trey by Sayaloune at 3:23 put CSC up 55-54. He buried a third at 2:02 on the clock to stretch the Eagle lead to 58-56.
However, CSC missed three straight field goals, and both Sayaloune and Adoum Mbang, combined 6-for-8 shooters on the night, fouled out in the final 4:30 as the Mountain Lions hit their foul shots to put the game away.
Juniors Elijah Walker and Dalton Ross scored 19 and 16 points, respectively, to lead the Mountain Lions.
CSC falls to 3-6 overall, and 1-2 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play, while UCCS advances to 4-5 (1-2 RMAC).
Chadron State will travel to MSU Denver to battle the Roadrunners at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday.
Score by halves:
1 2 Total
Chadron State 26 37 63
UCCS 34 35 69