By: Con Marshall
The Chadron State College basketball teams hit the road this week to play their Utah opponents in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action. The Eagles will visit the Westminster Griffins in Salt Lake City on Friday night and meet the Dixie State Trailblazers in St. George on Saturday night.
This will be the first time the Eagles have played Dixie State in basketball since that school joined the RMAC.
The Chadron State women’s team is coming off a pair of exhilarating wins over Adams State and Fort Lewis last weekend to snap a losing streak. Coach Janet Raymer said the victories definitely pepped up her players.
The CSC men nearly won both games, but the second game slipped out of the bag when Fort Lewis sank a trio of three-pointers in the final 32 seconds of regulation play to tie the score at 81 and primarily used free throws to outscore CSC 19-7 in overtime to seal the verdict at 100-82.
CSC Coach Houston Reed said while the setback was a heart-breaker for him and the Eagles, through the Fort Lewis coaches he sent FLC senior Alex Semadeni a congratulatory message on his 37-point performance.
“What else could we do? We just have to forget that game and look ahead,” Reed said.
The Westminster women are riding high. They are 9-2 overall and have won all seven of their conference games to share the lead with Colorado Mesa. They are shooting 45.1 percent from the field, averaging 72.2 points and yielding 64.9 per game.
The Lady Griffins’ top scorers are 5-8 senior Denise Gonzales at 16.5 points a game and 6-1 sophomore Hunter Krebs at 15.7. Krebs is also averaging 7.1 rebounds and has hit half of her 32 three-point shots. Four more Westminster women are averaging at least 8.4 points.
The Westminster men are 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Their RMAC wins have been over Dixie State 68-64 and CSU-Pueblo 95-89 in overtime. Leaders include 6-5 sophomore Brandon Warr, who is averaging 13.3 points and 8.5 rebounds and has sunk 18 of 39 shots from behind the arc.
The Dixie State women are 6-5 for the season and 2-5 in league play. They have four players averaging in double digits, led by 5-7 sophomore Mariah Martin at 13.4 points a game. Ali Franks, a 5-10 junior, is close behind at 13.1 per game and is shooting .500 from the field.
The Dixie men are 4-7 and 2-5. They are one of two conference teams to beat New Mexico Highlands and did it by an 83-65 margin. More than 1,900 fans attended that game in St. George, located in the extreme southwest corner of Utah.
The Trailblazers’ only double-figure scorer through 11 games is 6-7 junior Matt Conway at 16.6 points a game. He’s poured in at least 21 points in five games.
Now 3-10 for the season, the CSC women’s top scorer is 5-10 sophomore Taryn Foxen at 13.2 a game after tallying 27 in the win over Fort Lewis.
The Lady Eagles got a big boost last weekend from another soph, Jessica Harvey. She was 11 of 17 from the field and nine of 11 at the free throw line in the two games and scored 11 points in the fourth quarter of both contests.
However, Coach Janet Raymer said freshman standout Angelique Gall, who was 12 of 16 from the field during the weekend, will not make the Utah trip after going to the floor and suffering a concussion late in the game against Fort Lewis.
The Eagles’ men are 6-7 overall and 4-3 in the league. Guards Michael Sparks and Colby Jackson, both about 5-9, are the top scorers at 13.3 and 12.5 a game, respectively.
Forward Diontae Champion is close behind at 11.6. After tallying 20 and 21 points in the two games last weekend, center Adoum Mbang is averaging 9.7.
Jackson, Champion and Mbang combined to score 110 points in last week’ games. Mbang had 41, Champion 35 and Jackson 34.